Greeks in Austria
The Greek community in Austria numbers between 5,000 and 18,000 people. They are located all around the country but the main community is located in Vienna.
Contacts between the Greeks and the Austrians can be led back in the aristocracy of the Middle Ages. Great economic importance and social acknowledgment attained the Greeks in Austria in the 19th Century.
The Greek Johannes Theodat opened on January, 17th 1685 Vienna's first coffee house. In 1700 four Greeks had the privilege to serve coffee in public.
In the 18th century, Vienna was the centre of Greek diaspora where persons like Rigas Feraios, Anthimos Gazis, Neophytos Doukas and the Ypsilantis family prepared the Greek revolution. The first Greek newspaper was printed there and the Hellenic National School in Vienna is today the oldest such in the world that has remained continuously in operation. In 20th century Austria (and especially Graz and Linz) was a popular destination for Greek students.
The Greek-Austrian magnate Georgios Sinas (father of Simon Sinas) invited the Danish architect Theophil Hansen who worked in Athens (and had designed there major public buildings like the Zappeion and the Academy of Athens) to design for him some new buildings for his companies in Austria. Other Greek Austrians like Nikolaus Dumba and Ignaz von Ephrussi also gave Hansen contracts for buildings in the Classical Greek style and the Gräzisierter-Neorennaissance-Stil. After Works like the Palais Ephrussi and the Palais Dumba Hansen was famous and build many other public buildings in Austria like the Parliament of Austria and the Musikverein.
In the former Greek Quarter of Vienna at the Fleischmarkt there are the two historical Greek-Orthodox parishes (St George and Holy Trinity). A traditional Austrian Restaurant there is called Griechenbeisl ("Greek Tavern", because of its Greek visitors since the 18th century) and a street Griechengasse (Greek Lane").
Notable Austrians of Greek origin
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- Coudenhove-Kalergi, from a phanariot family
- Nikolaus Dumba
- Konstantin Dumba
- Constantin von Economo
- Ephrussi family, Ukrainian family of Jewish Greek descent
- Karajan family
- Theodor von Karajan, politician and grandfather of Herbert
- Herbert von Karajan
- Demeter Laccataris
- Simon Sinas
- Christian Michelides, psychotherapist and director of Lighthouse Wien
- Peter Persidis
- Pappas Family, founders of the Alpine construction group and importers of Mercedes-Benz in Austria and Hungary
- Maria Vassilakou, Vice-Mayor of Vienna, President of the Viennese branch of The Greens – The Green Alternative, the fourth party in the Austrian Parliament