A chronological summary of the Johanniter Order’s history

The Johanniter Order - Balley Brandenburg des Ritterlichen Ordens St. Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem (Brandenburg Bailiwick of the Knightly Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem).



When the crusaders conquered Jerusalem on July 15th, 1099, they found a hospice dedicated to St. John the Baptist, in which a pious brotherhood of laymen served pilgrims who were poor or had fallen ill.  Many Christian knights entering Jerusalem as crusaders joined this confraternity.


around 1113

Recognition by the Pope as an independent ecclesiastical fellowship.  In a development lasting until 1180, the hospitaller order transformed to become a spiritual knightly order that took on military tasks in addition to the charitable work that had been its original focus.  The order was given the name “Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem” and had the double mandate of fighting the fight of the faith while serving the ill, who were termed the knights’ “masters”.



The first Commandery (branch of the Order) on German soil was established in Duisburg.  It was followed in 1160 by the Werben Commandery in the Mark Brandenburg.



The Heimbach Accord granted a privileged position to the Balley Brandenburg within the German Grand Priory.



Joachim II., Elector of Brandenburg, converted to Lutheranism.  The Balley Brandenburg gradually followed suit.



Friedrich Wilhelm III., King of Prussia, disbanded the Balley Brandenburg and confiscated its property in order to finance the costs subsequent to the wars fought by Prussia.



Friedrich Wilhelm IV., King of Prussia, reinstituted the Balley. The Balley Brandenburg was the hub of the Order.



Institution of the Johanniter Sisterhood.



Investiture of the Herrenmeister HRH Prince Oskar of Prussia.



Loss of all institutions of the Order located in Eastern and Middle Germany.



Re-establishment of the Balley Brandenburg with its commanderies in the Western zones of occupation in Germany by Herrenmeister Prince Oskar of Prussia.



Foundation of the Johanniter-Hilfsgemeinschaft (JHG, Humanitarian Group Services).



Foundation of the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe (JUH, Emergency Medical Service).



Investiture of the Herrenmeister HRH Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia.


from 1990
Introduction of the Humanitarian Group Services (JHG) and Emergency Medical Service (JUH) in the new Eastern Länder of reunified Germany, and restitution of the former Order institutions, which were returned to the responsibility of the commanderies.



Celebration of the Order’s 900 years of existence and investiture of the Herrenmeister HRH Prince Oskar of Prussia.2001Rückkehr des Ordenssitzes nach Berlin.


Return of the registered seat of the Order to Berlin.