Manuk Bey an Armenian merchant

Manuc Bey (the common Romanian rendering of Manuk Bey, the Armenian name of Emanuel Mârzayan; 1769–1817) was an Armenian merchant, diplomat, and innkeeper.

He was born in Rousse (modern Ruse, Bulgaria) as a subject of the Ottoman Empire. A grain merchant, he amassed considerable wealth and was rumored at the time to be the wealthiest man in the Balkans. In 1803, he was awarded the boyar rank of paharnic by Constantine Ypsilanti, Prince of Wallachia.

In 1808, the highly influential Manuc was advanced by his protector, the Ottoman general Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, to occupy the Moldavian throne, but was prevented from taking the throne by the fall of his protector; he had to flee Istanbul to avoid execution.

Settling in Bucharest (after a short period of refuge in Transylvania), Manuc-Bey kept the inn known today as Manuc’s Inn; in time, he also acquired estates in Bessarabia, near Hînceşti and Reni, and was to remain the main financial backer of Ypsilanti, lending the treasury 160,000 thalers in all.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, he was also a mediator (1809) between the Russian Imperial Army of Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich and a rebel Ottoman garrison in Giurgiu.

A Russian agent, Manuc took part in the negotiations for the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest between the Russian and Ottoman empires, which were held in his inn in Bucharest.

Manuc’s Inn (Romanian: Hanul lui Manuc, is the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest, Romania. It also houses a popular restaurant, several bars, a coffee-house, and (facing the street) several stores and an extensive bar.

Its massive, multiply balconied courtyard hosted many performances and fairs and was a popular place for Romanian Television crews to shoot folkloric performances.

The inn was built in 1808 as a khan, and originally owned by a wealthy and flamboyant Armenian entrepreneur, Emanuel Mârzaian, better known under his Turkish name Manuc Bei.

By the middle of the 19th century, it was Bucharest’s most important commercial complex, with 15 wholesalers, 23 retail stores, 107 rooms for offices or living, two receiving rooms, and a pub.

Taken from: Mano Chil

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