House Order of Fidelity
Star, badge and ribbon of the order
Awarded by the Grand Duchy of Baden
TypeState order
SovereignPrince Bernhard
GradesKnight Grand Cross
Knight Commander

Ribbon of the order

Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden with the star of the order.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730–1794) wearing the order.
Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden in 1900, with the order's sash and star.

The House Order of Fidelity (German: Hausorden der Treue) is a dynastic order of the Margraviate of Baden. It was established by Charles III William, Margrave of Baden-Durlach as a reward for merit and to mark the laying of the foundation stone of his residence at Karlsruhe Palace. As was customary at that time, it was originally named in French as the Ordre de la Fidélité, before later being renamed the Orden der Treue and finally in 1840 the Hausorden der Treue. Its motto was Fidelitas (Latin for "Fidelity"), which is also part of Karlsruhe, Germany's coat of arms.


The order was founded at the building site of Karlsruhe Palace on 17 June 1715 and later the same day, the palace's foundation stone was laid – this was also the city of Karlsruhe's foundation date. In the city's early years until around 1732, the city's main streets were named after knights of the order, at the suggestion of one of the founding knights and one of the obervogts or city guards, Johann Christian von Günzer, who also suggested that Fidelitas be used on the city's coat of arms.[1]

On 8 May 1803, Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden added the class of Commander to the order. After Baden was promoted to a Grand Duchy in 1806, it became one of Baden's highest orders. From 1814, it returned to being a single-class order.

From 17 January 1840, it was made the highest order in Baden and renamed the Hausorden der Treue. By a statute of 17 June 1840, it was expanded back into two classes and reserved for princes of the grand ducal house, foreign sovereigns and higher statesmen with the title of "Excellency".

In 1902, the Princess Cross class was added, which was reserved for princesses born in the grand ducal house or who had married into it. Even after the monarchies of Germany were abolished, it was awarded as a dynastic order by the House of Baden.




Its star consists of an eight-point Maltese cross with small golden balls on its tips, gold "C"s (after its founder) in the corners and a suspension loop attached to a crown on the top arm of the cross. The shield on the centre is gold plated with white enamel showing three green mountains below three gold "C"s and the motto FIDELITAS. The rear of the gold shield shows the arms of Baden and a red fess.


This is a silver eight-arm cross, with an orange medallion on the front and four gold double "C"s on the silver arms.


This is orange with a narrow silver stripe down each side. It is worn over the right shoulder and left hip. On its left side is a gap for the badge.


When the Order of Fidelity was reserved for foreign sovereigns, members of the ruling house and princes, the concurrent award of the Order of the Zähringer Lion continued until 1877. After that date, the Grand Cross of the Order of Berthold the First was awarded first instead.


The number of distributions before the end of the German monarchies (not including awards to members of the grand ducal house) were:[2]

Form Ceremonies
Order in diamonds with gold chain 2
Order in diamonds 4
Star in diamonds 4
Grand Cross 414
Commander with Star 18
Commander 6
Princess-Decoration 8

The following were awarded the order in diamonds:[3]

Year Recipients Form
1815 Klemens Fürst von Metternich Star
1818 Wilhelm Ludwig Leopold Reinhard Freiherr von Berstett Cross
1863 Alexander Michailowitsch Gortschakow Cross
1863 Wladimir Fjodorowitsch Adlerberg Cross
1871 Otto von Bismarck Cross with gold chain
1896 Adolf von Holzing-Berstett Star
1902 Adolf von Holzing-Berstett Cross with gold chain
1902 Wilhelm Pleikard Ludwig von Gemmingen Star
1902 Wilhelm August von Edelsheim Star
1907 Max von Bock und Polach Star

Bibliography (in German)


  1. ^ (in German) Lars Adler: Die Fidelitasritter im historischen Gedächtnis der Fächerstadt. In: Blick in die Geschichte, Nr. 93, 23. Dezember 2011: Stadtgründung und Ordensstiftung
  2. ^ (in German) Arnhard Graf Klenau: Orden in Deutschland und Österreich. Band II: Deutsche Staaten (1806–1918). Teil 1. Graf Klenau Verlag, Offenbach 2008, ISBN 3-937064-13-3, S. 30.
  3. ^ Arnhard Graf Klenau: Orden in Deutschland und Österreich. Band II: Deutsche Staaten (1806–1918). Teil 1. Graf Klenau Verlag, Offenbach 2008, ISBN 3-937064-13-3, S. 32.