Cross of the Mount of Olives


Cross of the Mount of Olives

The Cross of the Mount of Olives (German: "Ölberg-Kreuz") was founded on the 24th. of December 1909 by the Prussian Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia as a decoration to commemorate the foundation of a hospital, the "Kaiserin Auguste Victoria-Stiftung" (Augusta Victoria Hospital) on the biblical Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. His very religious mother Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein was fond of charitative works and built several churches.

Cross

Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and his wife Auguste Victoria had visited Jerusalem in 1898. They had pledged to build a hospital for christian pilgrims suffering from malaria.

On the 27th of January 1907 the entire imperial family, parents and seven children, signed the charter of the "Ölbergstiftung". The foundation stone was placed in that same year.[1]

The Cross of the Mount of Olives was awarded to gentleman and ladies that contributed to the foundation. A formidable sum of 2.5 million mark was pledged by the German population. The hospital opened its doors in 1910.[2] The elaborate Protestant Ascension Church ("Himmelfahrtkirche"), usually subsumed under the hospital's name as "Augusta Victoria", was finished in 1914.

The cross

The cross is a "Jerusalem cross" in red and black enamel with a white Maltese cross in the centre. It is suspended from a monogram of the empress's initials "AV". The ribbon is plain white. The deserving were awarded golden crosses or crosses of gilded silver.

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Literature

  • André Hüsken: Katalog der Orden, Ehrenzeichen und Auszeichnungen des Kurfürstentums Brandenburg, der Markgrafschaften Brandenburg-Ansbach und Brandenburg-Bayreuth, des Königreiches Preußen, der Republik Preußen unter Berücksichtigung des Deutschen Reiches, vol. 3, Hamburg: 2001, ISBN 3-89757-138-2
  • Jörg Nimmergut, Katalog Orden & Ehrenzeichen von 1800 bis 1945, Munich: 2008

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