Order of Franz Joseph

The Imperial Austrian Order of Franz Joseph (German: Kaiserlich-Österreichischer Franz-Joseph-Orden) was founded by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria on December 2, 1849, on the first anniversary of his accession to the imperial throne.

Imperial Order of Franz Joseph
Badge of the Order
Awarded by The Head of the House of Habsburg
TypeOrder of merit (1849 - 1918)
Dynastic order (1918 - present)
Established2 December 1849
Royal houseHouse of Habsburg
("With United Forces")
Awarded forCivil and Military Merit
StatusDormant Order since 1918
SovereignCrown Prince Karl of Austria
GradesKnight Grand Cordon with Collar
Knight/Dame Grand Cordon
Knight/Dame Grand Officer
Knight/Dame Commander
Knight/Dame Officer
First induction1849
Last induction1918
Next (higher)Order of the Iron Crown
Order of Elizabeth
Next (lower)Order of Saint George
Order of Elizabeth and Theresa

Ribbon of the Order


The order was originally awarded in three classes: Grand Cross, Commander's Cross, and Knight's Cross. In 1869, the class of Commander with Star was added, which ranked immediately below the Grand Cross. The Officer's Cross, which ranked between Commander and Knight, was introduced on February 1, 1901.

The order ceased to exist as a governmental award with the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. It was not re-established with the foundation of the Republic of Austria. However, it remains active as a dynastic order of the House of Habsburg.

Ribbon bars
Grand Cordon Grand Officer (1869) Commander Officer (1901) Knight/Dame


Knights wore the decoration suspended from a triangular ribbon on the left breast. Officers wore it on the left breast without a ribbon. Commanders wore the decoration at the neck, as did Commander with Star, who also wore a breast star. The Grand Cross was worn suspended from the shoulder and also came with a breast star. The ribbon of all classes of the order was plain red.

In common with the other Austro-Hungarian awards of the period, the Franz Joseph Order was further distinguished with the addition of the War decoration and Swords which could be awarded for military merit. However, if soldiers were honoured, it was usually for distinguished service as opposed to gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Notable recipients


  1. p. 33, Butrica (1991) Andrew J. Boca Raton, Florida "Baudot, Jean Maurice Emile" Froehlich, Kent (editors) Fritz E., Allen The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications Vol. 2 CRC Press
  2. Watson, Derek Bruckner. New York: Schuster & Macmillan (1997): 39
  3. Morgen-Post Wien, 27 November 1872 (p. 579)
  4. Waters, Clara Erskine Clement; Hutton, Lawrence (1879), "Hans Frederic Gude", Artists of the nineteenth century and their works: A handbook containing two thousand and fifty biographical sketches, 1, Bostom: Houghton, Osgood and company, p. 317, retrieved 2017-07-12
  5. Österreichische Zeitschrift für praktische Heilkunde (in German). Veit. 1839.

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