1,000 Years Ostarrichi - Charter of Otto III, 996
This year, Austria celebrates it's 1,000th birthday with numerous festivities throughout the country. To commemorate Austria's first official naming 1,000 years ago, the Austrian Post and Telecom honors this occasion in it's own way with the issuance of a ten-part commemorative series. The first stamp in this series is dedicated to the famous document, the "Ostarrichi Charter", which is the first written mention of the name used for the margravate on the Danube. The charter was issued by Emperor Otto III on November 1 in the year 996 and included a royal gift to the high diocese at Freising. The gift was an estate surrounding Neuhofen in Ybbsfeld "in an area known in dialect as Ostarrichi". As margraves, the Babenbergers ruled this region situated on the Danube to the east of the Enns since the year 976. Within a few generations, the Babenbergers succeeded in forming a nation out of the thinly-settled border colony and in organizing the margrave office into a regional principality. Under Margrave Leopold III ("The Holy"), who later was raised to patron, the margravate already assumed the rank of one of the most respected principalities in the Empire. Today, this region corresponds to areas in Lower Austria.
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