Henry II, Duke of Austria
|Duke of Austria, Duke of Bavaria,
Count Palatine of the Rhine
Heiligenkreuz Abbey, Lower Austria, c. 1290
|Spouse||Gertrude of Süpplingenburg
|Noble family||House of Babenberg|
|Died||13 January 1177
Henry II (German: Heinrich, 1107 – 13 January 1177), called Jasomirgott, was the Count Palatine of the Rhine from 1140 to 1141, the Margrave of Austria from 1141 to 1156, the Duke of Bavaria from 1141 to 1156 as Henry XI, and the Duke of Austria from 1156 to 1177. He was a member of the House of Babenberg.
In the course of the dispute between the Welfen and Staufen dynasties in the Holy Roman Empire, the duchy of Bavaria had been taken away from the Welf Henry the Proud by the emperor and given to the Babenberg dynasty. The new Emperor, Frederick I, tried to reach a compromise with the Welfs and endowed the son of Henry the Proud, Henry the Lion, with Bavaria in 1156. A replacement had to be found for the Babenberg family, namely the Privilegium Minus, by which Austria was elevated to a duchy and gained complete independence from Bavaria.
Other than his father, who resided in Klosterneuburg for most of the time, Henry moved his residence to Vienna in 1145. Only by this act could the modern Austrian capital surpass cities such as Krems, Melk or Klosterneuburg. Since then, it has remained the capital of the country. Also in 1147, St. Stephen's Cathedral was completed, which became a visible landmark of the city, showing its prominence. In 1155, Henry founded the Schottenstift monastery in Vienna, in the courtyard of which a statue of him stands to this day.
Until 1143, he was married to Gertrude of Süpplingenburg, the daughter of Emperor Lothair III. In 1148 he married Theodora Comnena, a niece of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I. Both marriages strongly show the importance of the House of Babenberg in Central Europe in that period.
Henry's nickname, Jasomirgott, was first documented during the 13th century in the form of Jochsamergott, the meaning of which is unclear. According to one theory, it is derived from an Arab word bearing a connection to the Second Crusade where Henry participated in 1146. According to a popular etymology, it is derived from the formula Ja so mir Gott helfe (meaning: "Yes,so help me God").
Babenberger Stammbaum, Klosterneuburg Monastery, 1489–1492
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Henry II, Duke of AustriaBorn: 1107 Died: 13 January 1177
|Duke of Bavaria
|Margrave, then Duke of Austria
William of Ballenstedt
|Count Palatine of the Rhine
Herman III of Stahleck