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The oldest Military Honours of Spain existing today originated mainly at the time of the Muslim invasions of current-day Spain. Today however they have lost their military significance and are purely symbolic honours.

Former Orders of Chivalry

Crown of Aragón

  • Cofradía de Belchite (Brotherhood of Belchite), Alfonso the Battler, King of Aragón (1122).
  • Orden de San Salvador de Monreal (Order of St. Salvador of Monreal), Alfonso the Battler (1124).
  • Orden del Hacha (Order of the Axe), Ramón Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona (1149).
  • Orden de Montjoie (Order of Mountjoy), Rodrigo Álvarez (1173).
  • Orden de San Jorge de Alfama (Order of St. George of Alfama), Peter II (1201).
  • Orden de Santa María de la Merced (Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy), St. Peter Nolasco, supported by James I (1218).
  • Orden de San Pedro Mártir (Order of St. Peter Martyr), Saint Dominic[1] (1216).
  • Orden del Armiño (Order of the Ermine), Alfonso V (1436).

Crown of Castile

  • Orden de los Hermanos Hospitalarios de Burgos (Order of Brothers Hospitallers of Burgos), Alfonso VIII (1212).
  • Order of Santa María de España (Order of St. Mary of Spain), Alfonso X (1270).
  • Orden de la Escama (Order of the Scale), Alfonso XI (1313).
  • Orden de la Banda (Order of the Band), Alfonso XI (1330).
  • Orden de la Paloma (Order of the Dove), John I (1379).
  • Orden de la Razón (Order of the Reason), John I (1385).
  • Orden de las Azucenas y de la Jarra (Order of the Annunciation Lilies and the Vase) commonly known as Orden de la Terraza (Order of the Terrace), Ferdinand of Antequera, Infante of Castile (Ferdinand I as King of Aragón) (1403).[2]

Current Orders of Chivalry

The Catholic Monarchs Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon introduced a military honours system which was approved by the Pope Adrian V in 1523. They awarded titles and hereditary honours to nobles and soldiers. Of those titles only the following still exist today:

Dynastic Order

Military Decorations

Other Military Awards

  • Noribbon.png Citación como Distinguido (Distinguished Service Award)
  • Noribbon.png Mención Honorífica (Mention in dispatches)

International Military Decorations

Obsolete

  • ESP Orden Militar de María Cristina pasador.svg Real y Militar Orden de María Cristina (Royal and Military Order of Maria Christina) (1889-1931)
  • ESP Orden Naval de María Cristina pasador.svg Real y Militar Orden Naval de María Cristina (Royal and Military Naval Order of Maria Christina) (1891-1931)
  • ESP Medalla de Sufrimientos por la Patria (Heridos o Lesionados en Tiempo de Paz) pasador.svg Medalla de Sufrimientos por la Patria (Medal of Suffering for the Motherland) (1814-1989)
  • ESP Medalla del Mutilado (Guerra).svg Medalla del Mutilado (Medal of the Maimed) (1938-1989)[6]
  • Medalla del Sahara.jpg Medalla del Sáhara (Sahara Medal) (1977)

Obsolete International Military Decorations

Civil Decorations

Background

[Clarification needed]

  • Venera de la Orden de Carlos III.svg The Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III (Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles III), Established by Charles III in 1771 to decorate those having benefited Spain and her Crown by the actions. It is the highest civil decoration that exists in Spain.
  • Insignia, Grand Cross and Star of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.svg The Real Orden de Isabel la Católica (Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic), established by Fernand VII in 1815, to “reward unflinching loyalty to Spain and the merits of Spanish and foreign subjects in benefit of the Nation and especially those services relating to the prosperity of the American and other overseas territories”. The decoration is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Grand Cross and Star of the Order of Civil Merit (Spain).svg The Orden del Mérito Civil (Order of Civil Merit), established by Alfonso XIII in 1926 to “reward the civic virtues of civil servants as well as the extraordinary services to the Nation of Spanish and foreign subjects”. It too is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Politics & Justice

  • Badge of the Order of St Raymond of Penyafort.svg The Orden de la Cruz de San Raimundo de Peñafort (Order of the Cross of Saint Raymond of Penyafort), established in 1944 to “reward relevant merits performed by those persons involved in the administration of Justice and for their contribution and study of all branches of Law and for the untarnished services to judicial activities under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.[7] Depende de la Subsecretaría de Justicia, a través de la División de Tramitación de Derechos de Gracia y Otros Derechos, y dentro de la orden existen diversas cruces y medallas.[8]
  • Insignia of the Spanish Order of Constitutional Merit.svg The Orden del Mérito Constitucional (Order of Cosntitutional Merit), established by Felipe Gonzalez’s government in 1988 to “reward those persons who distinguish themselves by their services to the Constitution and of the values established therein”. It can be awarded both to persons or organizations (public or private).[9]
  • Badge and Start of the Order of Cisneros.svg The Orden de Cisneros (Order of Cisneros), founded in 1944 to reward political merit. It is one of the least known decorations still in existence today.[10]
  • Insignia of the Spanish Order of the Victims of Terrorism Civil Recognition.svg The Real Orden de Reconocimiento Civil a las Víctimas del Terrorismo (Royal Order for Civil Recognition of the Victims of Terrorism), created in 1991, in order to honour those killed, wounded or kidnapped by terrorists. It consists of a Crand Cross, that can be awarded posthumously to the deceased and a Comendation, for those injured and kidnapped.[11]
  • The Medalla de Oro del Senado (Gold Medal of the Senate)
  • The Medalla de Oro del Congreso de los Diputados (Gold Medal of the Congress of Deputies)

Culture & Society

  • Insignia, Grand Cross and Star of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise.svg The Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio (Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise), founded in 1945 with the aim of to “reward relevant merits in the fields of education, science, culture, higher education and research”.In 1988 this order replaces the Civil Order of Alfonso XII.
  • Badge of the Order of Arts and Letters of Spain.svg The Orden de las Artes y las Letras de España (Order of Arts and Letters of Spain)
  • Badge of the Royal Order of Sports Merit (Spain).svg The Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo (Royal Order of Sports Merit)
  • Gold Star of the University Research and Teaching Medal for Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al Mérito en la Investigación y en la Educación Universitaria (Medal of Merit for Research and for University Education)
  • The Medalla al Mérito Filatélico (Medal of Philatelic Merit)
  • The Medalla al Mérito de la Radioafición (Medal of Merit for Radio Operators)
  • Badge of the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts (Spain).svg The Medalla al Mérito en las Bellas Artes (Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts)

Social Affairs

  • Badge of the Civil Order of Social Solidarity (Spain).svg The Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social (Civil Order of Social Solidarity), established in 1988 to replace the old 'Orden de Beneficencia' (Order of Charity) with the aim of “recognizing persons or organizations, both Spanish and foreign having distinguished themselves in promoting or performing activities related to social welfare”.[12]
  • Spanish Civil Order of Health Grand Cross.svg The Orden Civil de Sanidad (Civil Order of Health), created in 1943 to replace the old Cross of Epidemias, to the end of “rewarding service and merit in the ambit of medical care or in the course of assistance in fighting epidemias”.[13]
  • The Orden al Mérito del Plan Nacional sobre Drogas (Order of Merit of the National Drug Plan), established in 1995, it comprises 3 levels: Gold medal, for those who “have distinguished themselves in the performance of their activities or for achievements of special significance or importance, or that entailed a risk to their life, both in prevention, assistance, reinsertion or in combating drug trafficking as well as its consequences or derived illicit earnings”; Silver medal, for those “having carried out or carrying out noteworthy activities with continued dedication and solidarity, in the above mentioned areas, taking into account their real results”; White cross, for those “having shown exemplary and significant dedication in the above mentioned reas”.[14]
  • The Orden Civil del Mérito Medioambiental (Civil Order of Environmental Merit), created in 2009 to reward persons and organizations for eminent services or out-standing actions, for nature conservation, natural heritage and biodiversity preservation, the fight against climate change, environmental quality, the defense and promotion of the marine water and continental resources sustainability and, in general, initiatives on environmental protection.[15]
  • The Medalla al Mérito Social Penitenciario (Medal of Social Penitentiary Merit), introduced in 1996, intended to reward those individuals or institutions that have contributed to the prison rehabilitation.[16]
  • The Medalla de Honor de la Emigración (Medal of Honour of Emigration)
  • The Medalla y Placa a la Promoción de los Valores de Igualdad (Equality Values Promotion Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla de la Seguridad Social (Medal of Social Security)
  • The Distinciones de la Cruz Roja Española (Spanish Red Cross Decorations)
  • The Medalla del Donante de Sangre (Blood Donor Medal)

Security

  • Badge of the Order of Guardia Civil Merit.svg The Orden del Mérito del Cuerpo de la Guardia Civil (Order of Merit of the Civil Guard Corps)[17]
  • Gold Medal of the Police Order of Merit (Spain).svg The Orden del Mérito Policial (Order of Police Merit)[18]
  • Badge of the Medal of Civil Defence Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al Mérito de la Protección Civil (Medal of Merit of Civil Defence)
  • The Medalla al Mérito de la Seguridad Vial (Medal of Merit of Road Security)
  • The Medalla al Mérito Penitenciario (Medal of Penitentiary Merit)
  • Badge of the Service Police Decoration (Spain).svg The Condecoración a la Dedicación al Servicio Policial (Service Police Decoration)[19]

Socioeconomics

  • The Orden Civil del Mérito de Telecomunicaciones y de la Sociedad de la Información (Civil Order of Merit for Telecommunications and Information Society)
  • The Orden Civil del Mérito Postal (Civil Order of Postal Merit)
  • The Orden del Mérito Agrario, Pesquero y Alimentario (Order of Agricultural, Fishing and Alimentary Merit)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito Turístico (Touristic Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito del Transporte Terrestre (Land Transport Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito de la Marina Mercante (Merchant Marine Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • Gold Medal of Work Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al Mérito en el Trabajo (Medal of Merit for Labour)
  • The Medalla al Mérito en el Seguro (Insurance Merit Medal)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito en el Comercio (Comerce Merit Medal and Plaque)

Regions

  • The Medalla de Andalucia (Medal of Andalusia)
  • The Medalla de las Cortes de Aragón (Medal of Aragonese Corts)[20]
  • The Medalla de Asturias (Medal of Asturias)
  • The Medalla de Oro de Canarias (Gold Medal of Canary Islands)
  • The Medalla de Oro de las Islas Baleares (Gold Medal of Balearic Islands)
  • The Medalla del Parlamento de Cantabria (Gold Medal of the Parliament of Cantabria)
  • The Medalla de Extremadura (Medalla de Extremadura)
  • The Medalla de Oro de Castilla-La Mancha (Gold Medal of Castile-La Mancha)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito Deportivo en Castilla-La Mancha (Sports Merit in Castile-La Mancha Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al Mérito Sanitario en Castilla-La Mancha (Health Merit in Castile-La Mancha Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla al Mérito en la Iniciativa Social de Castilla-La Mancha (Social Initiatives of Castile-La Mancha Medal)
  • The Medalla de Castilla y León (Castile and León Medal)
  • The Medalla al Mérito Profesional de Castilla y León (Professional Merit Medal of Castile and León)
  • The Medalla de las Cortes de Castilla y León (Corts of Castile and León Medal)
  • The Medalla al Mérito Parliamentario (Parliamentary Merit Medal), Castile and León
  • The Medalla d'Or de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia)
  • The Premi Creu de Sant Jordi (Cross of St. George Award), Catalonia.
  • The Medalla de Galicia (Medal of Galicia)
  • The Medalla Castelao (Castelao Medal), Galicia
  • The Medalla de La Rioja (Medal of La Rioja)
  • The Orden del Dos de Mayo (Order of the Second of May), Merit Order of the Community of Madrid.[21]
  • The Medalla de la Comunidad de Madrid (Medal of the Community of Madrid)
  • The Medalla de la Región de Murcia (Medal of the Region of Murcia)
  • The Medalla de Oro de Navarra (Gold Medal of Navarre)
  • The Cruz de Carlos III El Noble de Navarra (Charles III the Noble of Navarre Cross), Navarre
  • The Gernikako Arbolaren Gurutzea - Cruz del Árbol de Gernika (Cross of the Tree of Gernika), Medal of Basque Country.[22]
  • The «Lan Onari» GoraipamenaLan Onari» Award), Basque Country
  • The «Lagun Onari» GoraipamenaLagun Onari» Award), Basque Country
  • Distinciones de la Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian Community Distinctions)
  • The Orden de Jaume I el Conqueridor (James I the Conqueror Order), Valencian Community

Autonomous cities

  • The Medalla de la Autonomía de Ceuta (Medal of Autonony of Ceuta)
  • The Medalla de la Ciudad de Melilla (City of Melilla Medal)

Others

  • Venera de la Orden de las Damas Nobles de María-Luisa.svg The Orden de las Damas Nobles de María-Luisa (Order of the Noble Ladies of Queen Maria Luisa)
  • The Medalla Plus Ultra (Plus Ultra Medal)
  • The Medalla al Mérito en el Ahorro (Merit in Savings Medal), Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks Medal.

Obsolete Orders

  • The Real y Militar Orden de España (Royal and Militar Order of Spain), Joseph Bonaparte (1809-1812)
  • The Orden Civil de María Victoria (Civil Order of María Victoria), King Amadeo (1871-1873).[23]
  • The Orden Civil de Alfonso XII (Civil Order of Alfonso XII), Alfonso XIII (1902-1931) Officially replaced by the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise (1988)
  • The Orden de la República Española (Order of the Spanish Republic), Second Republic (1932-1939).
  • The Orden Imperial del Yugo y las Flechas (Imperial Order of the Yoke and the Arrows), Francisco Franco (1937-1976).

References

  1. Pasamar Lázaro, J.E. (1996). "Inquisición en Aragón, la Cofradía de San Pedro Mártir de Verona" (in Spanish). Universidad Complutense. pp. 303–305. http://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/RVIN/article/download/RVIN9696110303A/1651.0. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  2. Granado Hijelmo, Ignacio (2005) (in Spanish). Las Instituciones Nobiliarias Riojanas: Un Capítulo en la Historia Institucional de la Rioja y el Derecho Nobiliario Español. Hidalguía. pp. 40, 41. http://books.google.es/books?id=NWmObBw8sgUC&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=fernando+de+antequera+orden+terraza++1403&source=bl&ots=okFzEHdHGh&sig=FXafqBqzPjbkB5w2aLNHYWUUbcQ&hl=es&sa=X&ei=iOHaUMrKIsuV0QW3tIGwAg&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=fernando%20de%20antequera%20orden%20terraza%20%201403&f=false. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  3. Real e Insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro, accessed January 12, 2009.
  4. La insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro, historical summary of the history of Order of the Golden Fleece, accessed January 12, 2009.
  5. Orden del Ministerio de Defensa /3594/2003, of December 10, by that approved rules for ordinary processing and concession of the Crosses of the Military, Naval and Aeronautical Merit, with white badge, and of the honorific mentions, the delegation of competitions in this matter, and use of representative decorations of rewards.. BOE (03/12/23). (Spanish) Accessed December 25, 2012.
  6. Law 17/1989, of 19 July, Professional Military Personnel Regulation. BOE (20/07/1989). Accessed December 25, 2012.
  7. Orden de la Cruz de San Raimundo de Peñafort, accessed January 12, 2009.
  8. Sede electrónica del Ministerio de Justicia, the Order of San Raimundo de Peñafort, accessed January 12, 2009.
  9. Orden reguladora de dicha condecoración, accessed January 12, 20099.
  10. Heraldaria, Orders of Merit; decorations. accessed January 12, 2009.
  11. Condecoraciones españolas, the Royal Order of Civil Recognition of Victims of Terrorism, accessed January 12, 2009.
  12. Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social, accessed January 12, 2009.
  13. Boletín Oficial del Estado, Royal Decree 1270/1983 regulating the said Order, accessed January 12, 2009.
  14. Legislación española sobre Drogas, accessed January 12, 2009.
  15. Royal Decree 1036/2009, of 29th of june, Civil Order of Environmental Merit. BOE (09/07/23). (Spanish) Accessed December 4, 2012.
  16. Medallas, accessed January 12, 2009.
  17. (Spanish) Order of the Merit of the Civil Guard Corps Statutes and Regulations. BOE (2012-10-25), accessed October 28, 2012.
  18. (Spanish) Order of Police Merit Statutes and Regulations, www.policia.es, accessed September 28, 2010.
  19. (Spanish) OrderINT/1409/2011, 10 may Service Police Decoration Regulations., accessed November 13, 2012.
  20. Medalla de las Cortes de Aragón - Cortes de Aragón(Spanish) Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  21. (Spanish) Order of the Second of May Statutes and Regulations. Community of Madrid Official Website, accessed October 28, 2012.
  22. (Spanish) Cross of the Tree of Gernika - Basque Government (Spanish)
  23. Panorama numismático, the Civil Order of María Victoria (1871-1873), accessed January 12, 2009.

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