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Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold
Grand Cross Star of the order
Awarded by The Head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Type Dynastic order
Royal house House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Awarded forCivil and military merit
Sovereign Karl von Habsburg
GradesGrand Cross
First Class
Next (higher) Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary
Next (lower) Order of the Iron Crown (Austria)
Equivalent Order of the Starry Cross

Ribbon of the order (except 1st Class)

The Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold ( German: Österreichisch-kaiserlicher Leopold-Orden) ( Hungarian: Osztrák Császári Lipót-rend) was founded by Franz I of Austria on 8 January 1808. The order's statutes stipulated only three grades: Grand Cross, Commander and Knight. During the war, in common with the other Austrian and later Austro-Hungarian decorations, war decoration (represented by a laurel wreath) and/or swords were added to reward meritorious service and bravery in the face of the enemy.

An Imperial Decree of 1 February 1901 ordered that in future, the senior grade would be split into two separate awards. From then onwards, there were four ranks: Grand Cross, First Class, Commander, Knight.

Until 18 July 1884, the award of the order also entitled the recipient, if he was not already of that standing, to be raised to the following appointments and/or ranks of the nobility:

  • Grand Cross: Privy Councillor
  • Commander: Baron
  • Knight: Ritter


Both the Grand Cross and the First Class members of the Order wore (on formal occasions) their insignia in the form of a sash with the badge attached to the bow and respectively an eight-pointed and a four-pointed breast star. The Grand Cross was somewhat larger than the First Class, as was the width of the sash. A Commander's badge was worn at the neck, suspended from a 52 mm wide ribbon; a Knight wore his badge on a triangular ribbon on the left breast.

The badge consists of a red-enameled gold cross, with white enamel edging. The obverse of the badge displays the initials FIA in gold on a red enamel background. The mottoes of the Order were INTEGRITATI ET MERITO and OPES REGUM CORDA SUBDITORUM. The ribbon of the Order is red with two narrow white side-stripes. The badge's cross is surmounted by a golden imperial crown.

The Grand Cross could also be awarded with diamonds; from 1808 to 1918, only four people received this honour. The last recipient, Ernst Graf von Silva-Tarouca, was awarded the decoration on 11 November 1918, hours before Charles I of Austria withdrew from public affairs. After 1918, the Order was no longer awarded.

Grand Cross
Collar Star Riband Alternative Medal
First Class
Riband Star Alternative Medal
Cross Alternative Medal
Grand Cross
Grand Cross Star with war decoration Alternative Medal Grand Cross Star with war decoration and swords Alternative Medal
First Class
First Class Star with war decoration Alternative Medal First Class Star with war decoration and swords Alternative Medal
Commander with war decoration Alternative Medal Commander with war decoration and swords Alternative Medal
Knight with war decoration Knight with war decoration and swords

Famous recipients

Grand Cross star with war decoration and badge of the order

See also


  1. ^ "Here and There". The Hebrew Standard. Vol. LII, no. 21. New York, N.Y. 29 May 1908. p. 7 – via Historical Jewish Press.


  • Gustav Adolph Ackermann, Ordensbuch, Sämtlicher in Europa blühender und erloschener Orden und Ehrenzeichen. Annaberg, 1855
  • Václav Měřička, Orden und Ehrenzeichen der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, Wien 1974

External links