The land was divided into counties, or gauen, which were ruled by counts, prominent among whom were members of the families of Conradine and Babenberg, by whose feuds it was frequently devastated.
It possesses a church, in Romanesque style, dating from the 11th century, with fine cloisters and the tombs of several members of the Babenberg family.
The development of this small mark into the AustroHungarian monarchy was a slow and gradual process, and falls into two main divisions, which almost coincide with the periods during which the dynasties of Babenberg and Habsburg have respectively ruled the land.
In 976 his son, the emperor Otto II., entrusted the government of this mark, soon to be known as Austria, to Leopold, a member of the family of Babenberg, and its administration was conducted with vigour and success.
When the house of Babenberg became extinct in 1246, Austria, stretching from Passau almost to Pressburg, had the frontiers which it retains to-day, and this increase of territory had been accompanied by a corresponding increase in wealth and general prosperity.