In 1683, Vienna was, for the second time, besieged by the Turkish army of Kara Mustapha Bassa, called Mustapha the Black or Mustapha the Terrible. In September, the city was on the point of surrender when a Christian army, lead by the Archduke of Lorraine, arrives in the vicinity. To intervene, the reinforcements need information on the position, the number, and the armament of the enemy forces. Each night, the count Ernst Rudiger Starhemberg, controlling garrison of the city, sends informants towards the army of the Archduke. Each night, the Turks intercept them and slice their throats.
One night, a 23 years old Polish noble named Franz Goerg Kolschitzky, entered the scene. Having lived ten years in Istanbul he spoke Turkish. He offers his services to try and cross the Ottoman lines. Accompanied by his servant George Mikalowski, he succeeds in passing through and provides to Charles of Lorraine all that he needs to know. Empowered by this information, the Archduke attacks and puts out the Turkish invaders. While fleeing, the latter give up guns, ammunition and provisions. Among the spoils were five hundred coffee bags. Kolschitzky is celebrated like a hero and decorated. He is offered Austrian nationality, as well as the five hundred bags of coffee beans and is given the authorization to open his own coffee enterprise. Today it is known as “Zur Blauen Flasche” (The Blue Bottle).
Originally posted on May 24, 2006 @ 2:53 pm