Order of the Golden Spur

The Order of the Golden Spur, originally Order of the Golden Militia ( Ordo Equestri Militiae Auratae ), is the second highest medal for services to the Roman Catholic Church. It is awarded directly by the Pope. One rarely reads the names Order of the Golden Spur and the Order of the Golden Spur; official name is Ordine dello Speron d' Oro, also Ordine della Milizia aurata.

With the name of his carrier Knights of the Golden Spur is not to be confused by the golden spur of the Order of the Knights.

Formation and ceremony

The Order of the Golden Spur is a limited to 100 members badge today. In the period from 1558 to 1759 but the order was given not only by the Pope, but also from higher Italian nobles. The ceremony took place mainly at artists and architects, who should be honored for their contributions to the Catholic Church. Connected with it was an appointed Pontifical Hofpfalzgrafen ( Comes palatine Lateranus ). One example is Brandenburg's first court architect Christian Eltester which for the assistance at the papal Palazzo Montecitorio (now seat of the Italian Parliament ) was awarded in 1694 by the Duke Sforza Comitibus the Order. The practice was restricted in 1815 and 1841 under Pope Gregory XVI. then canceled.

At a red ribbon hanging on a stylized golden armor fortified Maltese cross with an attached golden spur. It developed from a badge of the Order of Knights, but founder and foundation year are not known. An early reference is found in the family history of the family von Einsiedel. The Saxon Obermarschall Hildebrand von Einsiedel (1400-1461), Lord of Gnandstein, received the rank of " Knight of the Golden Spur".

The time now valid form of award was established by the reform, Pope Pius X on February 7, 1905. It comes only in a class.

The Order of the Golden Spur can get both laymen and clerics also due to personal merits and in the context of diplomatic practices.

Position within the hierarchy

There is the following ranking of the Papal Order of Merit and Honour:

Major Ritter ( selection)


The bearer of the Order of the Golden Spur were entitled to the title Cavaliere to lead from the spur and were addressed in letters with Sacri palatii Comites et Equites aurati. Cavaliere could ( and probably still is) high breaking in on horseback in a church. Cavaliere was Germanized to "knight", but of the three named recipients Gluck, Mozart and Dittersdorf made ​​only the former of this privilege use.

Awarded by the dukes of Sforza

Pope Paul III. (1468-1549) gave in 1539 his nephew, the dukes of Sforza, Count of Santa Fiora and their offspring the privilege of " Knight of the Golden Spur to appoint ". The title was bestowed on them from time to time to get for little money and not considered.