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, Saint 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.
Henry"s brother was the important chronicler Otto of Freising.
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").
He was buried in Schottenstift, Vienna.
He was a member of the House of Babenberg.