In Hellenistic culture, a mural crown identified the goddess Tyche, the embodiment of the fortune of a city, familiar to Romans as Fortuna. The high cylindrical polos of Cybele too could be rendered as a mural crown in Hellenistic times, specifically designating the Mother Goddess as patron of a city. The mural crown became an ancient Roman military decoration that later became a heraldic motif.
The Roman corona muralis (Latin: "walled crown") as used in antiquity was a golden crown, or a circle of gold intended to resemble a battlement, bestowed upon the soldier who first climbed the wall of a besieged city or fortress to successfully place the standard of the attacking army upon it. The Roman mural crown was made of gold, and decorated with turrets, as is the heraldic version. Being one of the highest orders of military decorations, it was not awarded to a claimant until after a strict investigation . The rostrata mural crown was assigned as naval prize, similar to naval crown.
The term is also used in heraldry to denote a crown modeled after the walls of a castle. In recent times, mural crowns have been used in opposition to royal crowns; they are typical of Italian medieval and modern Communes. A mural crowned lady, Italia Turrita, is a symbol of Italy. In Italy, communes have a mural crown on their coat of arms, golden and with five towers for cities, silver and nine-towered for the others; also some provinces and military corps use it. The coat of arms of the Second Spanish Republic had a mural crown. Most Portuguese (and Brazilian) municipal coats of arms contain a mural crown, with three towers signifying a village, four towers representing a town, and five towers standing for a city. Similarly, the Romanian municipal coats of arms contain a mural crown, with one or three towers for villages and communes, five and seven towers for towns and municipalities.
After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I, the single-headed eagle of the coat of arms of Republic of Austria began to wear a mural in the place of the former royal Austrian and Hungarian crowns that adorned the double-headed eagle of former coat of arms.