Dec 28 2009
The first bagel was baked by a Jewish baker in Vienna, Austria in 1683, in honor of the Polish king Jan Sobieski, who is credited with contributing the pivotal strategy leading to the defeat of the Turkish Muslims at the Battle of Vienna. That battle marked the final turning point in a 250 year fight between Christians and Muslims over the fate of Europe.
The German word Bügel means stirrup. Because the American language does not include the “ü” sound, the word Bügel is here pronounced bagel.
It will be remembered that the Turks overran Constantinople in 1453 after a 100 year campaign to achieve that goal. The Turkish sultan Mehmet II renamed the city Istanbul, a name it has retained to this day. Prior to 1453, the Turks had already defeated the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Their victory over the Christians in 1453 led the Turks to occupy most of the Balkans, so they were able to besiege Vienna for the first time in 1529.
Having failed to occupy Vienna that time, they tried again and again and finally were within sight of Austria’s capital in 1683. There they were met by an Austrian and German army of 100,000 troops. The commander of the Turks, Pasha Kara Mustafa, commanded an army of 140,000 men. The battle between the German forces and the Turks seesawed all day until the Polish king Sobieski arrived with a heavy cavalry force of 20,000 men and charged the Turks downhill.