16.5.08

VICTORY

I love to find out little known facts about history. This video answers the Question: "Why is Vienna so famous for its Coffee shops?"

Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki (1640-1694) (his name often rendered in German as Kolschitzky) was a member of Polish szlachta of Ukrainian origin and of orthodox faith, merchant, spy, diplomat and soldier. According to a popular legend, he opened the first café in Vienna in 1683, using coffee beans left by the retreating Ottoman Turks.

During the Battle of Vienna in 1683, he volunteered to leave the besieged and starving city and contact Duke Charles of Lorraine. Together with his trusty servant, Jerzy Michajlović, he left the city in Turkish attire and crossed enemy lines singing Ottoman songs. After contacting the duke, the couple managed to return to the city and reach it with a promise of imminent relief. Because of that information, the city council decided not to surrender to the Turkish forces of Kara Mustafa Pasha and continue the fight instead.

After the arrival of Christian forces led by the Polish king Jan III Sobieski, on September 12, the siege was broken. Kulczycki was considered a hero by the grateful townspeople of Vienna. The city council awarded him with a considerable sum of money while the burghers gave him a house in the borough of Leopoldstadt. King Jan III Sobieski himself presented Kulczycki with large amounts of coffee found in the captured camp of Kara Mustafa's army

An extra bit of history is this, had the moslem Turks not been defeated before Vienna, Europe may well have fallen to islam. It may be viewed as the 17th century version of Tours...

Dieu Le Roy,
de Brantigny

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