Michael Tositsas was a Greek national benefactor of the 19th century with a great contribution to Greece and Alexandria, Egypt. Originally from Metsovo, like many other national benefactors, M. Tositsas acquired a huge fortune from his business activities, a significant part of which he spent for the good of his compatriots.

Michael Tositsas was born in Metsovo in 1787. His father was Anastasis Tositsas, a furrier in Thessaloniki. Little Michael stayed until he was ten years old in Metsovo, where he learned his first letters and then his father brought him to Thessaloniki, where he continued his schooling until he was 14.

In 1806, together with his brothers, he took over his father’s fur processing shop. Michael learned the art and later returned to Metsovo, where his father assigned him his shop. Michalis developed a commercial demon and things went so well that he put his brothers (three boys and a girl) in art. He sent his brothers to Egypt and at the same time established branches in Alexandria, Egypt, Livorno and Malta, assigning the management to his brothers Theodore, Constantine and Nicolas.

In 1829, Michael Tositsas himself settled in Alexandria. There he met the famous regent of Egypt Mehmet Ali, who began to have great respect for the person of Michael and made him his personal advisor, while he also appointed him head of the first state bank, the Nile shipping company, as well as manager of his estates. In Egypt, Michail Tositsas started growing cotton and further increased his already large fortune, while at the same time becoming one of the most powerful landowners in the country. He was the first consul general of Greece in Alexandria and is generally considered the father of the Hellenism of Egypt. He contributed to the founding of the Greek community and, together with his brothers, helped to acquire important educational and ecclesiastical infrastructure.

In 1854 Michael Tositsas left behind Egypt and settled in Athens, where until his death in 1856, he continued his beneficial work, something he did for his particular homeland, Metsovo, but also for Thessaloniki, where he had also lived. In his will he left large sums for the support of the poor as well as the strengthening of hospitals, ecclesiastical and educational institutions. Among them we point out the donations of significant sums to the University of Athens, Arsakeio and the Technical University of Athens (which due to the benefits received from Tositsas and other benefactors from Metsovo, was named Metsovo Technical University.

After his death, his wife Eleni continued his charitable work and offered significant sums to educational and charitable institutions as well as for the completion of the Polytechnic. His younger brother Theodoros, who also acquired a huge fortune in Alexandria, after his release returned to Greece where he donated most of his fortune to institutions.

  1. Tositsa’s beneficial work began in Alexandria and continued after his return to Greece. From the Egyptian city he began to intensify the struggle of the Greeks and to buy Greek prisoners in the Turkish slave markets. He then founded a hospital, a church and a school for the Greeks of the area. In Alexandria he also built the famous “Tositsa School”, which housed a primary school, a school, a girls’ school and a library.

He sent to Metsovo every year, during his lifetime, significant sums of money to alleviate the poor. He deposited more than 100,000 drachmas in the National Bank to be paid from the interest in Metsovo by two teachers every year. In Thessaloniki he bequeathed a lot of money for the Greek school (the city was still under Turkish yoke), in which he also studied as a child. Upon his return to Athens, M. Tositsas became even more generous. He did road construction work, and supported hospitals, the Arsakeio Girl’s School and the university. The Polytechnic strengthened it with 100,000 French thalers.

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