The Viennese Café - History

The legendary Viennese café is known all over the world. This highly acclaimed and popular institution is enjoyed by people from all countries.
Many poets have written about it and numerous songs deal with the famous Viennese café; it`s still vivid tradition and it`s inviting atmosphere.

The history starts with the following legend.

On the 12th of August in 1683, the Turks attacked the city of Vienna vehemently.
Once again the citizens of Vienna under the leadership of Count Starhemberg succeed in pushing back the enemy.
But nevertheless they realized how dangerous their situation was. They needed help urgently.
They nominated Georg Franz Kolschitzky as their mesenger to ask Karl von Lothringen for help.
Thanks to him and King Jan Sobieski, of Poland, the turks were defeated.
Kolschitzky asked the city-fathers to let him have the coffee-bags which the Turks had left behind and to place a house
at his disposal where he would be able to establish the first Viennese coffee-house and to work as a "Kaffeesieder".
This house was called "Blue Bottle". He roasted the green, plain beans, grinded them and boiled them with water.
The outcome was the "coffee". First he could not sell much, because the people did not like the black, bitter beverage.

One day, by misfortune, sugar got into the black hogwash and it was exactly what was needed.
By some more experiments milk was mixed with it - and the result the "Wiener Melange" was borne.

However the reality is more prosaic. The truth is Kolschitzky was not the first"coffee-brewer", he was a soldier, who spied as dozens of others too, he was just put up as symbol for his guild
(Corporation of the coffee-shop owners). Nevertheless quite a number of other personalities were responisble for the development and tradition of the cafés like the Armenien Johannes Diodato, nicknamed Deodat.
He was awarded for his spying with the monopoly on selling coffee for the period of 20 years.
His fortune did not last long, because when Belgrad was besieged by Prinz Eugen, he was accused to have spyed for both parties.
Only with difficulties he could put down the accusation against him.
In the year 1700, under the sovereignity of Emperor Leopold, Isaak de Luca, Joseph Devich, Andre Ben and Philip Rudolf Perg four other Armenians seized this opportunity and obtained a licence to sell coffee.
In rapid succession cafes were opened.
In the year 1714 Vienna had 11 licensed "coffee-houses". The most important opponents of the "coffee-brewers" were the "waterbrewers" (destillers) who sold coffee without license.
In 1747 Empress Maria Theresia finished this quarrel by uniting this two brotherhoods.

In the middle of the 18th Century the basics of the café-tradition had been established.
People would meet to read news-papers, play cards, have a game of billards or just meet friends to chat.

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