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The Imperial Crown: the most important part of Imperial Regalia

David Goran

The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, also called Crown Of Charlemagne, was used for coronations of the King of the Romans and it was most likely made in Western Germany during the late 10th and early 11th century, probably during the reign of Otto the Great.

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire kept in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna  Photo Credit

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire kept in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna  Photo Credit

 

Although the crown was made for the coronation of Otto the Great, it was named after Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman emperor  Photo Credit

Although the crown was made for the coronation of Otto the Great, it was named after Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman emperor  Photo Credit

 

Front view of the Imperial Crown  Photo Credit

Front view of the Imperial Crown  Photo Credit

Front right plate showing Jesus with two angels Photo Credit

Front right plate showing Jesus with two angels Photo Credit

Like most modern crowns, this crown does not have a round shape, but an octagonal one and IT is made of eight round-topped plaques of gold, hinged together. The number eight refers to the number of perfection, claimed for the emperor as the royal number. It is ornamented with 144 precious stones (including sapphires, emeralds, and amethysts) polished into rounded shapes, as well as more than one hundred pearls.

During the coronation, the crown was given to the new king along with a scepter (created in the 14th century) and the Imperial Orb (created in the late 20th century).

Decorated with jewels and enamel in a Byzantine style  Photo Credit

Decorated with jewels and enamel in a Byzantine style  Photo Credit

 

Each plate of the crown is made out of 22 karats of gold  Photo Credit

Each plate of the crown is made out of 22 karats of gold  Photo Credit

 

The cross is an additional element of the early 11th century Photo Credit

The cross is an additional element of the early 11th century Photo Credit

 

The red velvet cap on the inside of the crown dates from the 17th century  Photo Credit

The red velvet cap on the inside of the crown dates from the 17th century  Photo Credit

Side view of the crown, showing the hoop   Photo Credit

Side view of the crown, showing the hoop   Photo Credit

 

It was the most important part of the Imperial Regalia   Photo Credit

It was the most important part of the Imperial Regalia   Photo Credit

 

A detail Photo Credit

A detail Photo Credit

From the 15th century (1424), the Imperial Crown was kept in Nuremberg but in the 17th century (1796), when the French troops crossed the river, the last Holy Roman Emperor, Franz II, moved the crown to Regensburg to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon and his troops.

Read another story from us: Monomakh’s Cap is the oldest of the Russian crowns, first used in a coronation when Ivan the Terrible crowned himself the first Tsar of Russia

Four years later, the crown was taken to Vienna. It is now preserved and exhibited in the national treasury in Vienna “until another Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation.”