Orders, decorations, and medals of Spain

This is a list of some of the modern orders, decorations and medals of Spain.

The bulk of the top current civil and military decorations granted by the Government of Spain in a discretionary manner trace their origins back to the 19th and 20th centuries. The control of the military orders, a series of religious-military institutions created in the Middle Ages for military and borderland repopulation purposes in the Iberian Christian kingdoms, was seized by the Crown in the late 15th to early 16th century, and, from then on, Spanish monarchs became grand masters of the orders, entitling themselves with granting individuals the habits of the former as an award.

Provincial and municipal corporations (diputaciones and ayuntamientos) have a tradition for granting medals, and "adoptive" and "predilect" son/daughter as honorific titles. After the creation of autonomous communities in the late 20th century, regional administrations have also created their own set of civil decorations.

Historical Orders of Chivalry

Badges of the Order of Santiago (top), the Order of Calatrava (left), the Order of Montesa (bottom) and the Order of Alc谩ntara (right)

The Spanish military orders or Spanish Medieval knights orders are a set of religious-military institutions which arose in the context of the Reconquista. The most important arose in the 12th century in the Crowns of Le贸n and Castile (Order of Santiago, Order of Alc谩ntara and Order of Calatrava) and in the 14th century in the Crown of Aragon (Order of Montesa). They were preceded by many others that have not survived, such as the Aragonese Militia Christi of Alfonso of Aragon and Navarre, the Confraternity of Belchite (founded in 1122) or the Military order of Monreal (founded in 1124), which, after being refurbished by Alfonso VII of Le贸n and Castile took the name of Cesaraugustana and in 1149 with Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, are integrated into the Knights Templar. The Portuguese Order of Aviz responded to identical circumstances in the remaining peninsular Christian kingdom.

During the Middle Ages, as elsewhere in Christendom, in the Iberian Peninsula appeared native Military orders, that, while sharing many similarities with other international orders, also had their own peculiarities due to the special peninsular historical circumstances marked by the confrontation between Muslim and Christians.

The birth and expansion of these native orders came mostly at the stage of the Reconquista in which were occupied the territories south of the Ebro and Tagus, so their presence in those areas of La Mancha, Extremadura and Sistema Ib茅rico (Campo de Calatrava, Maestrazgo, etc.) came to mark the main feature of the Repoblaci贸n, in large areas in which each Order, through their encomiendas, exercised a political and economic role similar to that of manor feudal. The presence of other foreign military orders, such as the Templar or the Saint John was simultaneously, and in the case of the Knights Templar, their suppression in the 14th century benefited significantly to the Spanish.

The social implementation of the military orders between the noble families was very significant, extending even through related female orders (Comendadoras de Santiago and others similar).

After the turbulent period of the late medieval crisis鈥攊n which the position of Grand Master of the orders was the subject of violent disputes between the aristocracy, the monarchy and the favourites (infantes of Aragon, 脕lvaro de Luna, etc.)鈥Ferdinand II of Aragon, in the late 15th century, managed to neutralize the orders politically to obtain the papal concession of the unification in the person of that position for all of them, and its joint inheritance for its heirs, the kings of the later Catholic Monarchy, that administered through the Royal Council of the Military Orders.

Gradually losing any military function along the Antiguo R茅gimen, the territorial wealth of the military orders was the subject of confiscation in the 19th century, which reduced the orders thereafter to the social function of representing, as honorary positions, an aspect of noble status.[1]

Birth and evolution

The Order of Calatrava (left), the Order of Santiago (centre) and the Order of Alc谩ntara (right) in The book of orders of knighthood and decorations of honour of all nations, 1858

Although the appearance of the Hispanic military orders can be interpreted as pure imitation of the international arisen following the Crusades, both its birth and its subsequent evolution have distinctive features, as they played a leading role in the struggle of Christian kingdoms against the Muslims, in the repopulation of large territories, especially between the Tagus and the Guadalquivir and became a political and economic force of the first magnitude, besides having great role in the noble struggles held between the 13th and 15th centuries, when finally the Catholic Monarchs managed to gain its control.

For the Arabists, the birth of the Spanish military orders was inspired by the Muslims' ribat, but other authors believe that its appearance was the result of a merger of confraternities and council militias tinged with religiosity, by absorption and concentration gave rise to the large orders at a time when the struggle against Almohad power required every effort by the Christian side.

Traditionally it is accepted that the first to appear was that of Order of Calatrava, born in that village of the Castilian kingdom in 1158, followed by that of Order of Santiago, founded in C谩ceres, in the Leonese kingdom, in 1170. Six years later was created the Order of Alc谩ntara, initially called 篓of San Juli谩n del Pereiro篓. The last to appear was the Order of Montesa it did later on, during the 14th century, in the Crown of Aragon due to the dissolution of the Order of the Templar.

Hierarchical organization

Imitating the international orders, the Spanish adopted their organization. The master was the highest authority of the order, with almost absolute power, both militarily, and politically or religiously. It was chosen by the council, made up of thirteen friars, where it comes to its components the name of "Thirteens". The office of Master is life-time and in his death, the Thirteen, convened by the greater prior of the order, choose the new. It should be the removal of the master by incapacity or pernicious conduct for the order. To carry out it needed the agreement of its governing bodies: council of the thirteen, "greater prior" and "greater convent".

The General Chapter is a kind of representative assembly that controls the entire order. What are the thirteen, the priors of all the convents and all commanders. It should meet annually a certain day in the greater convent, although in the practice these meetings were held where and when the master wanted.

In each kingdom was a "greater commander", based in a town or fortress. The priors of each convent were elected by the canons, because it must bear in mind that within the orders were freyles milites (knights) and freyles cl茅rigos, professed monks who taught and administering the sacraments.

Territorial organization

Territories of the military orders of the Iberian kingdoms towards
the end of 15th century:
  Order of Montesa
  Order of Santiago
  Order of Calatrava
  Order of Saint John (Castile)
  Order of Alc谩ntara
  Order of Sant'Iago da Espada
  Order of Aviz
  Order of Saint John (Portugal)
Solid black.png Residence of the Grand Master

Because of their dual nature as military and religious institutions, territorially the orders develop a separate double organization for each of these areas, although sometimes not completely detached.

In the political-military these were divided into "major encomiendas" there greater encomienda by each peninsular kingdom in which was present the order in question. In front of them was the main commander. It was followed by the encomiendas, which were a set of goods, not always territorial nor grouped, but generally constituted territorial demarcations. The encomiendas were administered by a commander. The fortresses, that by any type of cause were not under the command of the commander, were headed by an alcaide appointed by him.

Religiously were organized by convents, existing a main convent, which was the headquarters of the order. In the case of the Order of Santiago was based in Ucl茅s, after the rifts of the order with the Leonese monarch Ferdinand II. The Order of Alc谩ntara had it in the Extremaduran village that gave it its name.

The convents were not only places where lived the professed monks, but constituted priories, religious territorial demarcations where the respective priors with the time had the same powers as the bishoprics, resulting in the military orders were subtracted to the episcopal power in extensive territories.


The command of the army it exercised the highest dignities of each order. At the apex the master, followed by the main commanders. The figure of alf茅rez was highlighted at beginning, but in the Middle Ages had disappeared. The command of the fortresses was in the hands of the commander or an alcaide appointed by him.

The recruitment was used to do by encomiendas, contributing presumably each with a number of lances or men related to the economic value of the demarcation.

Of note is the surprising bellicosity of the orders and its rigorous promise to fight the infidel, which often manifested itself in the continuation of authentic "private wars" against the Muslims when, for various reasons, the Christian kings gave up the struggle, because signing truces or to direct its military actions in other ways, as when Ferdinand III of Castile, crowned king of Le贸n, abandoned the interests of this kingdom to pursue the conquest of Andalusia in favor of the Crown of Castile.

Repopulation and social policy

To be important the military role played by the military orders, was no less its repopulater, economic and social role. Because not enough to wrest territories to the enemy if they are not populated enough to occupy and use it, thus facilitating their defense.

The orders received large tracts of land, whose repopulation reported it great political and economic power. To attract people to the acquired lands, they used similar methods to those used by other institutions. One was to grant fueros to the villages of their jurisdiction that made them attractive to people of the north. Generally it copied the models of fueros more generous, such as that of C谩ceres or of Sep煤lveda. An example of this generosity was the tax exemptions by marriage, taken from the Fuero of Usagre.

Moreover, some unproductive land were useless, so they worried about its economic development. In this sense, besides the advantages given to the new settlers, as the donations of disused public lands, were achieved fairs to their villages or were carried out important infrastructure works on the network communications. The fairs had the advantage of being tax-free, which fomented trade, which was also driven by improving communications (bridges, roads, etc.).

Relations with other institutions

The relations of the Hispanic military orders with other powers and institutions were diverse. Generally enjoyed the papal support, because they constituted a solid basis for the reconquista and depended directly on its authority. The Popes granted episcopal attributions to the priors of the orders in their struggle with the bishops, giving them greater independence.

Scene of the Reconquista by the military orders at Monasterio de Ucl茅s in Cuenca, Spain

As for the relationship with the kings, followed several stages. At first the monarchs impelled the Orders because they came to regard the "most precious jewel" of their crowns. Conscious of its enormous potential in the reconquest task, and later repopulation, the kings fostered it and introduced in their respective realms. As with Alfonso of Aragon and Navarre, when in 1122 he founded the confraternity of Belchite, or Alfonso VIII of Castile and Alfonso IX of Le贸n, who offered possessions to the orders of Santiago and Calatrava, respectively, lure it to their kingdoms. Although the royal donations for the most part were constituted by territories, to make them effective in the fight against Muslims, also received from the monarchs other donations not strictly military or political, such as those motivated by reasons of charity, mercy, hospitality and friendship. Often the favor of the kings also it manifested in the numerous lawsuits that arose with other powers, which generally the monarchs ruled in favor of the orders. The tax privileges or other were equally frequent, which sometimes caused the irritation of the concejos of realengo, whose neighbors paid tribute to a greater extent.

In exchange for the royal favor, the orders carried out the missions that were entrusted and were loyal to the monarchs, whose side were placed since the late 13th century the noble disputes became so frequent. Thereafter, the kings took conscience of the enormous power of the orders and the danger that could suppose having them against, hence with Alfonso XI of Castile began a struggle to get its control, to through the designation of the master. This struggle continued throughout the High Middle Ages until the absolute attainment of the royal purposes by the Catholic Monarchs, who managed to hold the mastership of all of them in perpetuity. With their descendants this mastership became hereditary.

More problematic was the relationship with the concejos of realengo (kind of councils of municipalities into royal territory), especially those endowed with extensive domains of difficult control and occupation. Often suffered the predation of unpopulated areas by the orders until the kings ended the usurpations, but from the 14th century these councils suffered the same predation by lay lords. There were also disputes with neighboring, sometimes prolonged and even so vehement that these produced physical confrontations.

Equally diverse resulted the relationship with the rest of the clergy. This contest of it was fundamental for the configuration of the orders, as happened with the support of the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela regarding the order of Santiago or the bishop of Salamanca regarding that of the Alc谩ntara. But later there was everything, from pious donations to endless lawsuits and skirmishes, and even some feat of arms, like the attack to the bishops of Cuenca and Sig眉enza by the Santiago's commander of Ucl茅s. And the tensions with the bishops were frequent in the struggle for the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which were subtracted the priors, who finally received the papal support.

The brotherhood and coordination were the dominant attitudes in the relations between orders. Calatrava and Alc谩ntara were united by relations of affiliation, without incurring lack of autonomy of Alc谩ntara. There were agreements between orders of mutual aid and sharing the archived. Even agreements such as the tripartite of friendship, mutual defense, coordination and centralization signed in 1313 by Santiago, Calatrava and Alc谩ntara.


The Military Orders were dissolved on April 29 of 1931 by the Republican government.

Portrait of Alfonso XIII in uniform of Grand Master of the four Spanish military orders, 1928

During the Spanish Civil War, many patently non-militant, non-criminal, civilian life-style leading members of the Orders were murdered gangland-style, their knights especially in the crosshairs of ideological socialism-inspired revolutionists, immolated on the pretext or alibi of some sort revolutionary progressivist agenda: minimally, at least nineteen of the Military Order of Santiago, fifteen of the Military Order of Calatrava, five of the Military Order of Alc谩ntara and four of the Military Order of Montesa were murdered thus. These numbers are conservative in fact and unconfirmed, but doubtless, ideologically-inspired butchery of all innocents with serious ties to these Orders, existed beyond official recorded numbers - regardless of class, any persons intimately associated with these pre-modern Orders were targets of so-called revolutionary assassinations and the death-toll was realistically was far higher.

The "officially" tabulated balance of Knights of 1931 to 1935 in the midst of the chaos was as follows:

In 1985 only 19 documentation-verified knights, who professed a dedication before approximately 1931, remained of what was once a grand edifice of social significance to Spanish and greater European society.


After the Spanish Civil War there began talks with the caudillo Francisco Franco, whose social policy's central axis was synthesizing modernity with past traditional elements of redeeming value, who invited the bishop-prior, Emeterio Echeverr铆a Barrena, to an exchange productive of no tangible results, so over the following years they subsisted marginally or informally, until, exoterically, on April 2 of 1980, they were recorded separately on the record of associations of Civil Government of Madrid. On May 26 of that year they are registered as "federation". The Order of Santiago, along with those of Calatrava, Alc谩ntara and Montesa were reinstated as civil associations in the reign of Juan Carlos I with the character of honorable and religious noble organization and as such remain today.

The 9 April 1981, and after fifty years, the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, named his father Juan of Bourbon President of the Royal Council of the Military Orders. Since 28 April 2014, Don Pedro of Bourbon, Duke of Noto, is the current President of the Royal Council.


Medieval knights orders founded in Spain (by alphabetic order)

(Note: This list, at this moment, does not include the military orders of the rest of Europe that participated in the Reconquista, among which for example the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller could highlight):

Emblem[citation needed] Name Founded Founder Origin Recognition Protection/Collaboration
Badge of the Order of Alcantara.svg Order of Alc谩ntara 1154 Suero Fern谩ndez Barrientos Alc谩ntara, Extremadura (Kingdom of Le贸n) December 29, 1177 by Pope Alexander III, 1183 by Pope Lucius III Grand Master (1156鈥 ), Kingdom of Le贸n (1177鈥 ), Kingdom of Castile (1177鈥 ), Kingdom of Spain (1980鈥 )[2]
Royal Bend of Castile.svg Order of the Band 1332 Alfonso XI of Castile Burgos, Castile and Le贸n (Kingdom of Castile and Le贸n) Kingdom of Castile and Le贸n (1332鈥 )[3]
Belchite blason.gif
Confraternity of Belchite 1122 Alfonso I of Aragon and Navarre Belchite, Aragon (Kingdom of Aragon) Kingdom of Aragon (1122鈥 ), Kingdom of Castile (1136鈥 )[4]
Caballeros de burgos.jpg
Order of Brothers Hospitallers of Burgos 1212 Alfonso VII of Le贸n and Castile Burgos, Castile and Le贸n (Kingdom of Le贸n, Castile and Galicia) and Corcubi贸n, Galicia (Kingdom of Le贸n, Castile and Galicia) Kingdom of Le贸n, Castile and Galicia (1212鈥 )[5]
Badge of the Order of Calatrava.svg Order of Calatrava 1158 Raimundo of Fitero Calatrava la Vieja, Castile-La Mancha (Kingdom of Castile) and Calzada de Calatrava, Castile-La Mancha (Kingdom of Castile) September 25, 1164 by Pope Alexander III, Pope Gregory VIII, Pope Innocent III Kingdom of Castile (1158鈥 ), Kingdom of Aragon (1179鈥 )[6]
Soberano de Val do Armi帽o.png
Order of the Ermine 1436 Alfonso V of Aragon Crown of Aragon (1436鈥 )[7]
Orden de la jarra.png
Order of the Jar and the Griffin 1040 Garc铆a S谩nchez III of Navarre N谩jera, La Rioja (Kingdom of Navarre) Kingdom of Navarre (1040鈥 ) Crown of Aragon (14th c.鈥 )[8]
Cross monreal.svg Order of Monreal 1124 Alfonso I of Aragon and Navarre Monreal del Campo, Aragon (Kingdom of Aragon) March 30, 1150 by Pope Eugene III Kingdom of Aragon (1124鈥 ) Kingdom of Le贸n, Castile and Galicia (1136鈥 )[9]
Badge of the Order of Montesa.svg Order of Montesa 1317 James II of Aragon Montesa, Valencian Community (Crown of Aragon) 1317 by Pope John XXII, Antipope Clement VII Crown of Aragon (1317鈥 ), Kingdom of Spain (1980鈥 )[10]
Order of Mountjoy 1143鈥1163 Galician Count Rodrigo 脕lvarez de Sarria Alfambra, Aragon (Kingdom of Aragon) December 24, 1173 by Pope Alexander III, 1197 by Pope Celestine III Kingdom of Aragon (1174鈥 ), Kingdom of Castile (1174鈥 ), Orders of the Crusades (1174鈥 ), Kingdom of Jerusalem (1176鈥 )[11]
Dove order.jpg
Order of the Dove 1379 John I of Castile Segovia, Castile and Le贸n (Crown of Castile) Crown of Castile (1379鈥 )[12]
Order reason.jpg
Order of the Reason 1385 John I of Castile Crown of Castile (1385鈥)[13]
San jorge de alfama.png
Order of Saint George of Alfama 1201 Peter II of Aragon Former dessert of Alfama near Tortosa, Catalonia (Crown of Aragon) Crown of Aragon (1201鈥 ), Kingdom of Castile (1212鈥)[14]
Cross of Saint James.svg Order of Santiago 1151 Ferdinand II of Le贸n and Pedro Su谩rez de Deza Ucl茅s, Castile-La Mancha (Kingdom of Castile) and Le贸n, Castile and Le贸n (Kingdom of Le贸n) July 5, 1175 by Pope Alexander III, Pope Urban III, Pope Innocent III Kingdom of Le贸n (1158鈥 ), Kingdom of Castile (1158鈥 )[15]
Orden de la esacama.jpg
Order of the Scale 1318/ 1420 Alfonso XI of Castile Crown of Castile (1318鈥)[16]
Female orders

Most were honorific orders in payment of efforts by warrior girls attacking Muslims (and in some cases attacking English), and their high contribution to the reconquest of cities, some however came to become actually in female military orders.[17]

Both Medieval naval and knights orders, fulfilling dual function, but mainly naval
Emblem Name Founded Founder Origin Recognition Protection
Emblema OrdendSantaMariadEspa帽a.svg Order of Saint Mary of Spain 1270 Alfonso X of Castile Cartagena, Region of Murcia (Crown of Castile) Crown of Castile (1177鈥 )[21]

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 VI in 1523. They awarded titles and hereditary honours to nobles and soldiers. Of those titles the following exist today:

Dynastic Order

Military honours

Other Military Awards

  • Noribbon.svg Citaci贸n como Distinguido (Distinguished Service Award)
  • Noribbon.svg Menci贸n Honor铆fica (Mention in dispatches)

International Military Decorations


  • ESP Orden Militar de Mar铆a Cristina pasador.svg Real y Militar Orden de Mar铆a Cristina (Royal and Military Order of Maria Christina) (1889鈥1931)
  • ESP Orden Naval de Mar铆a Cristina pasador.svg Real y Militar Orden Naval de Mar铆a Cristina (Royal and Military Naval Order of Maria Christina) (1891鈥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鈥1989)
  • ESP Medalla del Mutilado (Guerra).svg Medalla del Mutilado (Medal of the Maimed) (1938鈥1989)[25]
  • Medalla del Sahara.jpg Medalla del S谩hara (Sahara Medal) (1977)

Obsolete International Military Decorations

Civil Decorations


[clarification needed]

  • Order of Charles III - Sash of Collar.svg ESP Charles III Order CROSS.svg The Real y Distinguida Orden Espa帽ola 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.
  • Order of Isabella the Catholic - Sash of Collar.svg ESP Isabella Catholic Order CROSS.svg The Real Orden de Isabel la Cat贸lica (Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic), established by Fernand VII in 1815, to 鈥渞eward 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鈥. The decoration is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Order of Civil Merit (Spain) - Sash of Grand Collar.svg Order of Civil Merit (Spain) - Crosses.svg The Orden del M茅rito Civil (Order of Civil Merit), established by Alfonso XIII in 1926 to 鈥渞eward the civic virtues of civil servants as well as the extraordinary services to the Nation of Spanish and foreign subjects鈥. It too is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Politics and justice

  • ESP St Raymond of Penyafort Order - Common.svg The Orden de la Cruz de San Raimundo de Pe帽afort (Order of the Cross of Saint Raymond of Penyafort), established in 1944 to 鈥渞eward 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.[26] Depende de la Subsecretar铆a de Justicia, a trav茅s de la Divisi贸n de Tramitaci贸n de Derechos de Gracia y Otros Derechos, y dentro de la orden existen diversas cruces y medallas.[27]
  • Orden del M茅rito Constitucional.jpg The Orden del M茅rito Constitucional (Order of Constitutional Merit), established by Felipe Gonzalez鈥檚 government in 1988 to 鈥渞eward those persons who distinguish themselves by their services to the Constitution and of the values established therein鈥. It can be awarded both to persons or organizations (public or private).[28]
  • Orde del Cardenal Cisneros.gif 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.[29]
  • ESP Orden de Reconocimiento Civil a las V铆ctimas del Terrorismo.svg The Real Orden de Reconocimiento Civil a las V铆ctimas 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 Grand Cross, that can be awarded posthumously to the deceased and a Commendation, for those injured and kidnapped.[30]
  • 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 and society

  • ESP Alfonso X Order GC.svg ESP Alfonso X Order - Common.svg The Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio (Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise), founded in 1945 with the aim of to 鈥渞eward relevant merits in the fields of education, science, culture, higher education and research鈥. In 1988 this order replaced the Civil Order of Alfonso XII.
  • ESP Order of Arts and Letters of Spain.svg The Orden de las Artes y las Letras de Espa帽a (Order of Arts and Letters of Spain)
  • Real Orden del M茅rito Deportivo Sash.gif The Real Orden del M茅rito Deportivo (Royal Order of Sports Merit)
  • Gold Star of the University Research and Teaching Medal for Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al M茅rito en la Investigaci贸n y en la Educaci贸n Universitaria (Medal of Merit for Research and for University Education)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito Filat茅lico (Medal of Philatelic Merit)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito de la Radioafici贸n (Medal of Merit for Radio Operators)
  • Badge of the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts (Spain).svg The Medalla al M茅rito 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 鈥渞ecognizing persons or organizations, both Spanish and foreign having distinguished themselves in promoting or performing activities related to social welfare鈥.[31]
  • 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 鈥渞ewarding service and merit in the ambit of medical care or in the course of assistance in fighting epidemias鈥.[32]
  • The Orden al M茅rito 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 鈥渉ave 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鈥; Silver medal, for those 鈥渉aving carried out or carrying out noteworthy activities with continued dedication and solidarity, in the above mentioned areas, taking into account their real results鈥; White cross, for those 鈥渉aving shown exemplary and significant dedication in the above mentioned reas鈥.[33]
  • The Orden Civil del M茅rito 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.[34]
  • The Medalla al M茅rito Social Penitenciario (Medal of Social Penitentiary Merit), introduced in 1996, intended to reward those individuals or institutions that have contributed to the prison rehabilitation.[35]
  • The Medalla de Honor de la Emigraci贸n (Medal of Honour of Emigration)
  • The Medalla y Placa a la Promoci贸n 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 Espa帽ola (Spanish Red Cross Decorations)
  • The Medalla del Donante de Sangre (Blood Donor Medal)


  • Badge of the Order of Guardia Civil Merit.svg The Orden del M茅rito del Cuerpo de la Guardia Civil (Order of Merit of the Civil Guard Corps)[36]
  • Gold Medal of the Police Order of Merit (Spain).svg The Orden del M茅rito Policial (Order of Police Merit)[37]
  • Badge of the Medal of Civil Defence Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al M茅rito de la Protecci贸n Civil (Medal of Merit of Civil Defence)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito de la Seguridad Vial (Medal of Merit of Road Security)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito Penitenciario (Medal of Penitentiary Merit)
  • Badge of the Service Police Decoration (Spain).svg The Condecoraci贸n a la Dedicaci贸n al Servicio Policial (Police Service Decoration)[38]


  • The Orden Civil del M茅rito de Telecomunicaciones y de la Sociedad de la Informaci贸n (Civil Order of Merit for Telecommunications and Information Society)
  • The Orden Civil del M茅rito Postal (Civil Order of Postal Merit)
  • The Orden del M茅rito Agrario, Pesquero y Alimentario (Order of Agricultural, Fishing and Alimentary Merit)
  • The Medalla y Placa al M茅rito Tur铆stico (Touristic Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al M茅rito del Transporte Terrestre (Land Transport Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al M茅rito de la Marina Mercante (Merchant Marine Merit Medal and Plaque)
  • Gold Medal of Work Merit (Spain).svg The Medalla al M茅rito en el Trabajo (Medal of Merit for Labour)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito en el Seguro (Insurance Merit Medal)
  • The Medalla y Placa al M茅rito en el Comercio (Commerce Merit Medal and Plaque)


  • The Medalla de Andalucia (Medal of Andalusia)
  • The Medalla de las Cortes de Arag贸n (Medal of Aragonese Corts)[39]
  • 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 M茅rito Deportivo en Castilla-La Mancha (Sports Merit in Castile-La Mancha Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla y Placa al M茅rito Sanitario en Castilla-La Mancha (Health Merit in Castile-La Mancha Medal and Plaque)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito en la Iniciativa Social de Castilla-La Mancha (Social Initiatives of Castile-La Mancha Medal)
  • The Medalla de Castilla y Le贸n (Castile and Le贸n Medal)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito Profesional de Castilla y Le贸n (Professional Merit Medal of Castile and Le贸n)
  • The Medalla de las Cortes de Castilla y Le贸n (Corts of Castile and Le贸n Medal)
  • The Medalla al M茅rito Parliamentario (Parliamentary Merit Medal), Castile and Le贸n
  • 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.[40]
  • The Medalla de la Comunidad de Madrid (Medal of the Community of Madrid)
  • The Medalla de la Regi贸n 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 脕rbol de Gernika (Cross of the Tree of Gernika), Medal of Basque Country.[41]
  • The Lan Onari禄 Goraipamena (芦Lan Onari禄 Award), Basque Country
  • The Lagun Onari禄 Goraipamena (芦Lagun Onari禄 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 Autonom铆a de Ceuta (Medal of Autonony of Ceuta)
  • The Medalla de la Ciudad de Melilla (City of Melilla Medal)



See also


  1. ^ Miguel Artola, Enciclopedia de Historia de Espa帽a, Alianza Editorial, tomo 5 pg. 892
  2. ^ "The militar order of Alc谩ntara", Heraldaria.com
  3. ^ "M脕S SOBRE LA ORDEN DE LA BANDA", aristo.hypotheses.org
  4. ^ "The creation of the militar confraternity of Belchite", Basque digital memory (pdf file)
  5. ^ Book: Hispania incognita, Publisher: TEMPLESPA脩A
  6. ^ "The militar order of Calatrava", heraldaria.com
  7. ^ "Orden del Armi帽o.", enciclonet 3.0
  8. ^ "La Orden de Caballer铆a de la Jarra y el Grifo celebra su d铆a grande en Medina", El Norte de Castilla (newspaper)
  9. ^ Manuel Fuertes de Gilbert y Rojo (2007). Corporate peerage in Spain: Nine centuries of noble entities.. Ediciones Hidalgu铆a, Madrid. pp. 60 and follows. ISBN 978-84-89851-57-3.
  10. ^ "La orden militar de Montesa", heraldaria.com
  11. ^ "The Monastic Military Order of Jerusalem and St. Mary of Mountjoy.", arcomedievo.es
  12. ^ "ORDEN DE LA PALOMA.- Espa帽a", ordenbonariacolegioheraldico.blogspot.com
  13. ^ "ORDEN DE LA RAZON.- Espa帽a", ordenbonariacolegioheraldico.blogspot.com
  14. ^ "La Orden de San Jorge", heraldaria.com
  15. ^ "ORDEN DE LA PALOMA.- Espa帽a", ordenbonariacolegioheraldico.blogspot.com
  16. ^ "LAS DIVISAS DEL REY: ESCAMAS Y RISTRES EN LA CORTE DE JUAN II DE CASTILLA", 脕lvaro Fern谩ndez de C贸rdova Miralles, (pdf file)
  17. ^ [(http://www.erroreshistoricos.com/curiosidades-historicas/militar/1485-las-mujeres-en-las-ordenes-de-caballeria.html "THE WOMEN IN THE KNIGHT ORDERS"]
  18. ^ [(http://www.erroreshistoricos.com/curiosidades-historicas/militar/1485-las-mujeres-en-las-ordenes-de-caballeria.html "THE WOMEN IN THE KNIGHT ORDERS"]
  19. ^ "Hacha" dibujoheraldico.blogspot.com (in Spanish)
  20. ^ "ORDEN DE LA PALOMA.- Espa帽a", ordenbonariacolegioheraldico.blogspot.com
  21. ^ "La orden militar de Santa Mar铆a de Espa帽a", http://historiadealcaladelosgazules.blogspot.com
  22. ^ Real e Insigne Orden del Tois贸n de Oro, accessed January 12, 2009.
  23. ^ La insigne Orden del Tois贸n de Oro, historical summary of the history of Order of the Golden Fleece, accessed January 12, 2009.
  24. ^ 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). (in Spanish) Accessed December 25, 2012.
  25. ^ Law 17/1989, of 19 July, Professional Military Personnel Regulation. BOE (20/07/1989). Accessed December 25, 2012.
  26. ^ Orden de la Cruz de San Raimundo de Pe帽afort, accessed January 12, 2009.
  27. ^ Sede electr贸nica del Ministerio de Justicia, the Order of San Raimundo de Pe帽afort, accessed January 12, 2009.
  28. ^ Orden reguladora de dicha condecoraci贸n Archived 2010-01-14 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 12, 20099.
  29. ^ Heraldaria, Orders of Merit; decorations. accessed January 12, 2009.
  30. ^ Condecoraciones espa帽olas, the Royal Order of Civil Recognition of Victims of Terrorism, accessed January 12, 2009.
  31. ^ Orden Civil de la Solidaridad Social[permanent dead link], accessed January 12, 2009.
  32. ^ Bolet铆n Oficial del Estado, Royal Decree 1270/1983 regulating the said Order, accessed January 12, 2009.
  33. ^ Legislaci贸n espa帽ola sobre Drogas Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 12, 2009.
  34. ^ Royal Decree 1036/2009, of 29th of june, Civil Order of Environmental Merit. BOE (09/07/23). (in Spanish) Accessed December 4, 2012.
  35. ^ Medallas, accessed January 12, 2009.
  36. ^ (in Spanish) Order of the Merit of the Civil Guard Corps Statutes and Regulations. BOE (2012-10-25), accessed October 28, 2012.
  37. ^ (in Spanish) Order of Police Merit Statutes and Regulations, www.policia.es, accessed September 28, 2010.
  38. ^ (in Spanish) OrderINT/1409/2011, 10 may Service Police Decoration Regulations., accessed November 13, 2012.
  39. ^ Medalla de las Cortes de Arag贸n - Cortes de Arag贸n(in Spanish) Retrieved 2012-12-04.
  40. ^ (in Spanish) Order of the Second of May Statutes and Regulations. Community of Madrid Official Website, accessed October 28, 2012.
  41. ^ (in Spanish) Cross of the Tree of Gernika - Basque Government (in Spanish)
  42. ^ Panorama numism谩tico Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine, the Civil Order of Mar铆a Victoria (1871鈥1873), accessed January 12, 2009.