Austrian walled towns
Walled towns in Austria started to appear in the 11th century. Their establishment was closely connected with the development of Austria as a march of the Holy Roman Empire and in particular by the Stauffenberg Emperors and their Marcher Lords, the Babenbergs. In present-day Austria, there are 106 towns or cities that were walled. The walls of Radstadt, Freiburg, Hainburg and Drosendorf survive almost intact, and Austria has some of the most impressive walled towns in Europe. Other cities or towns such as Vienna, Salzburg and St Pölten have had their defences almost completely obliterated. In Austria, the procedure for granting civic status or creating a Stadt was relatively simple. Initially, a local lord or official ministerialis could petition for market rights or Marktrect. At that point, the town would be laid out by a surveyor and it would have been surrounded by an earthen-banked enclosure surmounted with a vertical wooden palisade. Often a stone gatehouse or Tor would be built for the collection of custom dues from traders coming to the market. When a town was granted a charter or borough status (Stadtrect), in most cases, a wall was being built, or provision for its construction and financing were included in the charter.