unbekannter Gast


Babenberg Era, period in the history of Lower Austria from 976 to 1246 during which the region became a political entity. 3 stages:

1) Colonisation period 976-1100: The march is gradually expanded to its northern and eastern borders. The permanent location of most settlements is determined. The old settlement areas of the Alpine Fore-Land and the Weinviertel region are re-developed and settled more densely. Clearing of woods begins in the Pre-alps and in the Waldviertel region. A network of parishes is established.

2) The march becomes a duchy: This period is marked by major developments: The Babenbergs expand their contacts, especially with the Staufer (Hohenstaufen) Dynasty, they participate in the Crusades, the march is raised to a dukedom, monasteries and towns are founded, castles are erected, landlordism develops, independent cultural development begins (especially building activities), and the cultivation of land is completed.

3) Political organisation of the land: legal independence from Bavaria (duchy of Austria), supported through the founding and enlargement of towns, the granting of town charters, an independent church policy (attempt to found a bishopric, creation of new religious orders), the adoption of new construction principles (early Gothic style) and manifold cultural achievements ( Nibelungenlied, Minnesong). As the Babenberg territory grew, new towns gained importance. Up to the 11th century, Poechlarn, Melk and Gars had functioned as the margraves´ residences. Then Leopold III established a palace at Klosterneuburg, which was also temporarily used by Leopold VI, and Heinrich II took up residence in Vienna, which then became the centre of the country.


H. Dienst, Werden und Entwicklung der babenbergischen Mark; H. Appelt, Das Herzogtum Oesterreich; both in: Oesterreich im Hoch-Mittelalter 907-1246, Geschichte Oesterr., vol. 2, ed. by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 1991.