Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown

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Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown
Verdienstorden der Bayerischen Krone
Star and sash of the order
Awarded by the King of Bavaria
Country Kingdom of Bavaria Bavaria
Eligibility Civil servants, non-nobles, and foreigners
Awarded for Merit deserving the recognition of the state
Status No longer awarded
Motto virtus et honos
Established 19 March 1808
Next (higher) Military Merit Order
Next (lower) Order of St. Michael
Badge of a knight of the order

The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown (German: Verdienstorden der Bayerischen Krone) was an order of merit of the Kingdom of Bavaria established by King Maximilian Joseph I on 19 March 1808. The motto of the order is Virtus et Honos (‘Courage and Honour’). The order was awarded in several grades: Grand Commander, Grand Cross, Commander, Knight, and medals in gold and silver.


King Maximilian I Joseph, founded the order to reward civil servants of the state of all classes and other foreigners who were deserving of recognition of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was created as a civil counterpart to the Military Order of Max Joseph. Both the orders brought non-noble recipients in the collection of personal nobility with the title "Ritter von".

The Order of Merit of the Bavarian crown was initially founded with three grades Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight. King Maximilian II added the grade of Grand Commander in 1855. For each grade there was a fixed number of members. Initially membership in the order was limited to 12 Grand Crosses, 24 Commanders and 100 Knights. Statutes of the order from October 1817 list the limits at 24, 40 and 160. Adjustments to the statutes were also made on 16 February 1824, on 12 October 1834, and on 12 January 1835 Oktober 1838. The statutes were further modified in 1855 for the addition of the Grand Commander grade.