Order of St. Anna, Chapter of Würzburg
Image courtesy of P. A. Wahlen, “Histoire, Costumes, Decorations de tous Les Ordres De Chevalerie et Marques D’Honneur”
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A gold and enamelled Rupert cross. The arms of the cross are in white enamel with a red enamel border. The obverse centre bears a white enamel medallion with a gold image of St. Anna. The arms of the cross bear the inscription “IN IHREN EDLEN TOECHTERN" (In Her Noble Daughters). The reverse centre bears a white enamel medallion with a cipher “F”. The reverse cross arms bear the inscription “DEM VERDIENSTE DER VAETER” (To the Merit of the Fathers). With a loop for suspension on a red and white striped ribbon.
The Order of St. Anna was established on September 19, 1783 by Maria Anna of Bavaria, widow of Elector Maximilian III. The order was conferred upon the daughters of Bavarian Catholic nobility. In 1785, a women’s monastery was established in the name of St. Anna in Munich.
To receive the order and enter the covenant of St. Anna, the individual had to be unmarried, over the age of eighteen, and prove sixteen noble ancestors. In 1792, the number of noble ancestors was decreased to eight. It was required for ladies of the Order of St. Anna to attend three masses a day, as well as maintain various lifestyle and clothing regulations.
In 1803, the principality of Würzburg fell to Bavaria, and the Würzburg monastery was abolished and then integrated into the Munich monastery. In 1807, Würzburg regained independence, but in 1814 it was again reunited with Bavaria.
Beginning in 1808, Protestant women were accepted, and in 1841, foreigners were also accepted into the order. The admission fee in 1875 was 200 marks for Bavarians and 1,600 marks for foreigners.
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