Auf den Spuren der Griechen in Györ (Ungarn)

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Charalampos G. Chotzakoglou


The difficult social and financial conditions in the Ottoman Empire at the
end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century and the military 

expansion of the Turks to the North brought the balkan population in contact
with the Hungarian and Transylvanian territories. The Serbs and Greeks
merchants succeded in taking over rapidly an eminent trade-activity; they
introduced trade-stations and gradually founded communities, where they were
living permanently with their families. The Greek presense in Győr, a town of
a great commercial significance, was until now known only due to indirect and
scattered information. Some documents, which were discovered during a
research in Hungarian und Austrian archives, shed light on the activities of the
Greek colony in Győr. The first document (30/4/1744) is an application of the
Greek trading company of Győr to the City Council, which arranges the
opening-time (time-table) of their stores in the period of orthodox feasts. The
analysis of the document shows the structure and the characteristics of the
Greek trade-companies, which indicates great similarities not only to the trade
companies of that period in Greece but to the Byzantine structures as well.
Other documents acquaints us with information about the visiting of a
monkpriest from Jerusalem to Győr (6/7/1746) in order to collect alms and his
impressions on the Greek community there. Some additional documents dated
18th century enable us to reconstruct the relations amongst Greek communities
in Hungary, their hardships conserning the lack of priests, their salaries and
give us some numbers about the orthodox population of Győr. The last
mention of the Greek community in Győr is comming from a report of the
bishop of Amaseia and Exarch of Middle-Europe Germanos Karavaggelis,
who in 1930 visited Győr and verified the dissolution of the Greek community
and the closing of the church. Today stand around the recently renovated
orthodox church of Győr the cemetery with two Greek tombstones walled in,
the greek school and the house of the orthodox priest as witnesses to the
Greek presence in the Hungarian town of Győr.

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