Crown (headgear)

A crown (Latin corona, wreath ', Greek κορώνα, garland ', ' crown ') is a precious, usually crafted from gold and precious stones Kopfzierde predominantly Christian - Western ruler, an expression of their power and dignity, as well as a symbol of their mastery of a particular people or a territory. Therefore, " the crown " as a synonym for a equipped with state dignity used king or empire.

Wearing crowns came into use in the ancient Orient. Already in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece wore a royal ruler bandage or a tiara. The Persian kings were among the first who wore a closed crown, a tiara. This form was later adopted by the Byzantine emperors, as well as by the popes, who wore a triple crown until 1964.

The Roman emperors used the tiara or the laurel wreath of the emperors as symbols of their power. The rulers of the Germans wore a helmet or a headband. Since the Carolingian period closed crowns were common, which were surmounted by one or more ironing.

  • 6.1 grave crowns Roman-German Emperor
  • 6.2 home kroner Roman-German Emperor
  • 6.3 relics crowns Roman-German Emperor

The Coronation

In the European Middle Ages, the correct accomplished with the proper coronation crown bestowed in the right place by the right, that is authorized to do so King Kröner ( Coronator ) a ruler 's legitimacy. In the Holy Roman Empire as the king was usually chosen by the archbishop of Cologne, Aachen - crowned with the Imperial Crown - from the 16th century in Frankfurt am Main by all ecclesiastical electors. The imperial coronation took place - again until the 16th century - by the Pope in Rome or by a papal legate. The coronation church of the French kings was the cathedral of Reims, which is the British kings and queens of Westminster Abbey in London.

Typology of crowns

Plate crown


Leaves / crown of lilies

Notched crown

Closed crown

Open crown

Ironing crown



European crowns can be classified roughly based on various external characteristics, which can also occur together.

  • If the circlet round, so it is a simple circlet, it consists of plates, one speaks of a plate crown.
  • Is the frost covered with ermine, one does not speak of a crown, but of a hat, for example, the archduke
  • Rise up above the frost lily or blätterformige ornaments, one speaks of a crown of lilies.
  • Instead, spikes present, one speaks of a wave or heath crown.
  • One speaks of a closed crown when a Kronhaube exists an open crown does not Kronhaube.
  • If one or a plurality of brackets available that span the crown, it is a bracket crown
  • If in a bow instead of a crown Kronhaube a miter is used, it is called an Mitrenkrone.

Special formats:

  • A crown of bricks is called mural crown or corona muralis.
  • A crown of ships is called ship crown or corona navalis

The carcass of a crown is the bare skeleton without precious stones, pearls or additional decor.


  • Crowns, which generally characterize the rule and the status of a noble person, shall be deemed crowns in the strict sense and are called, for example, rulers crown.
  • If a crown suspended over an altar, there is a votive or consecration crown.
  • Both crowns on a real as well as on a (Coat of Arms ) helmet known as a helmet crown.
  • A crown that is braided in Customs at the harvest of corn is called harvest crown.
  • Grave crowns are given rulers as grave goods. In addition, there was also the so-called dead crown in customs.
  • The topping-out wreath is made on the occasion of the ceremony of a building.

Manufacturing and materials, values

For the decoration of the crowns the most valuable and most precious stones were used by the goldsmiths, who had the authority available to represent the rank and prestige and the corresponding political or military power of the owner. Often had after loss of power or due to financial constraints individual stones are sold, such as the Regent. In the History epochs were partly different values, so the cross nail in the Iron Crown is ideally whose most valuable part. The Cast Iron Crown of Romania shows this idea clearly.


As the most important sign of power the places of storage of the crowns were always strategically motivated, there were and are especially fortified and secure systems with symbolic significance, such as the Tower of London or the Trifels. Today, most crowns are in museums.


Some crowns are used exclusively by certain carriers. For imperial crowns and royal crowns, there are different forms.

Crowns Roman-German Emperor

Grave crowns Roman-German Emperor

House crowns Roman-German Emperor

Relics crowns Roman-German Emperor



Oldest part of the Bohemian crown jewels.

Function as an elector is located in Vienna's treasury.

Exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Crowns of other rulers