The baron ( sometimes with the courtesy title " Baron" responded) belonged to the titled nobility in the Holy Roman Empire. In Austria and the German Empire, this title lasted until 1919. In Germany " Freiherr " and "Dame " has since been used as part of the name. In contrast to untitulierten nobility, who only carried the title of nobility " of " in the name, belonged to the titled nobility, the title Baron, Count, Prince and Duke, with a distinction between the knighthood and the barony; of Mr. Booth began the Barons.

Distinction of the Barons

The word baron goes back to the late Middle High German expression vrīherre and means free nobleman. Belonging to the nobility almost always went hand in hand with land ownership and domination. Knights were, for example, initially not necessarily aristocrats, but could rise through this feud. By the 13th century was within the nobility still not able barrier between the nobility and the gentry. Thus, the counts were nearly equal as territorial lords the princes of the empire. The titles of nobility depended on the controlled territory.

In the case of the Barons is to distinguish between barons and later conferred title Baron. Barons were rich immediately, only had the king assigned through and were the high nobility. Many barons used from the 15th century, a count title. Later, the princes awarded the title Baron in recognition of services rendered. The award winners were so so at the gentry, but were not barons in the original sense of the word.


Baron is a professional title from the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. On the one hand were thus the immediate owner rich territories referred, on the other hand even those people who had received the title of Baron conferred nobility as a letter by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Holder of a direct imperial territory

Barons of this group were all those that were invested with imperial directly from the emperor or of an imperial city ( imperial immediacy ) and their descendants. They were rich barons immediate, without the need for any formal designation ceremony, and they were able to exert their proper powers freely within their dominions. In so-called feudal fiefs such books were often held. These are often handed down. According birthright even those who were called barons, whose ancestors were indeed invested with such a fief, where even an investiture, however, has not been given (more).

Letter aristocracy

As barons and those nobles were called, who had received their Freiherr title conferred by a certificate of the Holy Roman Emperor or an Imperial Vicar ( letter aristocracy). A pronounced by the emperor able increase was to the extent otherwise expressly provided, recognized throughout the empire and needed no further naturalization by the sovereign ruler. On the other hand were able increases, which were not made ​​by the Emperor, in principle only on the lands of the ennobling sovereign. An elector of Brandenburg, for example could only give a title with validity within his dominions, a Roman- German emperors of the Habsburg dynasty, however, could either ( in his capacity as Regent of the hereditary lands ) a erbländisch - Austrian title, or ( in his capacity as Kaiser) also confer a title of the Holy Roman Empire. With imperial immediacy or investiture with imperial title had nothing to do in this case, but was merely an indication that he had been awarded before 1806 by the emperor or imperial vicar.

Baron Crown

The Baron Crown is formed a ranking Crown and commonly referred to as a collar, beaded from the top of seven high spikes protrude ( Adelskrone: five points, coronet: nine waves). With a flatter shape the beads lie directly on the hoop, with the omission of the prongs.

From this German baron crown, the French, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian and English baron crown are to be distinguished.


Members baronial families stood to the address Honor, Honor, later or high and Honor in the 17th and 18th centuries. In Germany it was usual to prefix the title of nobility first name. Since the entry into force of the Weimar Constitution in 1919 former title of nobility in Germany names legally components of the family name. In Austria, it was common already during the monarchy, insert the title of nobility between the pre - and the family name (eg Rudolf Freiherr von Slatin ). This was handled not only in official correspondence, but also at court so.

The female form is "Dame " ( Baroness ) for the wife of a baron or " Baroness " ( Baroness ) for the unmarried daughter of a baron or baroness. Baron a contrary opinion wanted on the spelling " Ilselore; Following a decision of the Imperial Court during the Weimar Republic, which still exists today in Germany inventory, the wives of barons may name legally correct " Dame " call (eg Ilselore Baroness von Braun " consist of brown). Has come since colloquially as " Miss " for an unmarried woman out of use, the form " Baroness " is perceived by some makers as discriminatory. One name change to "Dame " is part of the authorities in this regard usually nothing to prevent. The term sometimes used " Baroness " instead of "Dame " or " Baroness " is wrong because it has never existed as a title.

In Austria the nobility Repeal Act of 1919 and the nobility all titles of nobility managed to name legally completely.

European countries

While it has been performed in many European countries, the baron appropriate title " Baron", the word " baron " also, for example in Scandinavia is used (Swedish: friherre ).

Comparable of nobility:

  • Hungary - Báró
  • Croatia - barun, barunica
  • Poland - Baron, Baronowa
  • Lithuania - Baron, Baroness
  • Latvia - Baron, Baroness
  • Belarus - Baron, Baroness
  • Russia - Baron, Baroness
  • Italy - barone, baronessa
  • England - Baron, Baroness
  • Sweden - friherre, friherrinnan ( fröken (Miss ) for the Baroness )
  • Denmark - Baron, Baroness (just for the Baroness )
  • Norway - friherre, friherrin (just for the Baroness )
  • Finland - vapaaherra
  • Netherlands - Baron, Baron's
  • Portugal - Barao, Baroness
  • Spain - Barón, Baroness
  • Czech Republic - baron ( Svobodný pán ) Baronka ( Svobodna paní )
  • France - baron, baronne