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Henry II Jasomirgott – The Ruler who Made Vienna Capital of Austria – 1177

Henry II Jasomirgott – The Ruler who Made Vienna Capital of Austria – 1177

Before the reign of Henry II Jasomirgott, the city of Vienna had no more importance than other neighbouring Austrian towns on the Danube – Krems, Melk, and Klosterneuburg. Of course, Vienna later developed to become one of the most important capitals in Europe.

Henry II Jasomirgott, Duke of Austria, died on this day in 1177. He is particularly notable for moving the capital of Austria to Vienna, the city which, because of that, eventually became the capital of an entire empire, with a population of millions and enormous cultural significance.

Henry II Jasomirgott was actually the first person in history who bore the title of the Duke of Austria (Latin: dux Austriae). Namely, Austria was previously a margraviate, and was only in his era elevated to the status of a duchy. This elevation was performed by a decree of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, which is known today as the “Privilegium Minus”. By this document Austria was separated from the Duchy of Bavaria, within which was previously a margravate, and was elevated to be a duchy practically equal to Bavaria.

According to his family history, Henry II Jasomirgott came from the Babenberg dynasty, which had ruled Austria before the more famous Habsburgs. Before the reign of Henry II Jasomirgott, the city of Vienna had no more importance than other neighbouring Austrian towns on the Danube – Krems, Melk, and Klosterneuburg (Henry II Jasomirgott’s father resided in Klosterneuburg – the city on the Danube north of Vienna). Of course, Vienna later developed to become one of the most important capitals in Europe.

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