Goldenes Vlies, Orden vom#
Golden Fleece, Order of the, is one of the noblest medieval orders of knights that still exist. It was founded in 1430 by Philip of Burgundy, in honour of Saint Andrew. When Mary, the last Burgundian Duchess married Maximilian I in 1477, the title of sovereignty went to the Habsburg family. On the death of Karl V, the sovereignty went, as did the rest of the Burgundian heritage, to the Spanish line of the Habsburg family. When the Spanish line of the family died out, the Austrian line took over the duty to bestow the order on the knights of the Golden Fleece. The order nevertheless continued to be awarded in Spain as an order of merit. At first, the Order of the Golden Fleece counted 31 knights, after 1516, 51 knights. The treasure of the Order is kept safe at the Secular Treasury in Vienna, while the archives are in the Austrian Archives.
Literature#Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer. Guidebook, illustrated, 1987.