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Vienna in the Middle Ages

Vienna in the Middle Ages

Vienna Middle AgesThe city of Vienna has a long and fascinating history. Whether you are a student of history or simply a visitor anxious to learn more about this beautiful and historic world capital, the story of Vienna is captivating.

One of the most fascinating periods in the history of Vienna took place during the Middle Ages which were an integral and formative time in the history of Vienna.

It would be impossible to tell the history of Vienna in the Middle Ages without telling the story of the Babenberg family, the ruling family of Vienna until the reign of the Hapsburgs began in 1248. The Babenbergs were one of the most influential forces to the history of Vienna, and their story is an interesting part of Viennese history. The Babenberg family helped develop the city of Vienna into an important trading post during the Middle Ages, and the city owes much of its historical significance to this one family.

Their story dates all the way back to the year 976, when the margraviate of Ostarrichi was bestowed upon the family. Duke Henry II of Austria, a Babenberg, made Vienna, situated within the margraviate, their capital and main residence around 1155. Under Babenberg rule, the country prospered and was made a duchy in 1156.

Vienna also played an important role during the Third Crusade: in 1192 Duke Leopold V the Virtuous captured the EnglishKing Richard the Lionheart near Vienna two days before Christmas.

Duke Leopold's daring capture of King Richard brought the city a huge ransom allowing Vienna to construct its own mint. This began the city's history as a center of commerce and banking. The ransom also allowed the city to construct a series of walls to protect the wealth contained within, and the remnants of these walls can be seen to this day. Those visiting the U-Bahn station "Stubentor" should be on the lookout for the remains of these protective walls, first constructed in 1200.