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Sopron

The Sopron, the „most loyal town” lies in the Western Transdanubia Region, close to the Austrian border. It is the center of the Sopron wine region, the capital of the Blaufränkisch. The city’s Baroque downtown awaits the visitor with its many monument buildings and the vibrant cultural life is complemented by a colorful festival season starting from.

History

According the the archaeological findings, the area has been inhabited since the New Stone Age. In the time of the Roman Empire, lying along important trade routes, the city of Scarabantia was here. Later the Romans left the region and the arriving Hungarians came to a find only ruins.

The settling Hungarians founded a city which they named Suprun after their ispán (count), built city wall and a castle. In 1273, the city was occupied by the Czechs. As it was taken back with the help of the citizens, the city received the status of free royal town.

Although it was ravaged by the Ottomans in 1529, it managed the stay a free town, many national assemblies were held here and it was an important place for the Hungarian Reformation. Because the armies of Bocskai ravaged the city, new towers and defensive walls were built. In 1676, most of Sopron was burned down. The Baroque downtown built after the fire still defines the look of Sopron. During the Reform Era, the first railway of Transdanubia was built, connecting Sopron to Wiener Neustadt and Vienna. During the War of Independence it was captured early on. Later the city developed rapidly, it became the administrative center of the region but from the beginning of the 20th century it became less significant. After the Treaty of Trianon, in 1921 during a referendum the city decided to stay a part of Hungary instead of Austria – hence the name „the most loyal town”. The tragedies World Word II affected Sopron heavily: its Jewish population was taken to concentration camps, the city itself was bombed.

The Iron Curtain isolated Sopron from Austira but its industry began to develop. In 1989 the Pan-Europen Picnic was held here during which the border was opened for a short time and hundred of GDR citizens escaped to the west.

Attractions

The Fire Tower with the Baroque onion dome, built on the ruins of Roman wall is the symbol of Sopron. With the height a of 58, the tower presents a scenic panorama of the city. In its side is the Gate of Loyalty, commemorating the referendum of 1921.

The palace-like Storno House is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings of the Main Square. Amongst its guests it welcomed King Matthias Corvinus and Franz Liszt. An exhibition on the history of Sopron from the 17th century is housed on the first floor. On the second floor, the visitor can see the Storno collection. The private collection of the Storno family includes antiquities, illustrious furniture, weapons, and paintings by the family.

Also on the Main Square stands the Fabricius House. Here Roman stone findings, statues, gravestones can be seen and also on the exhibition on the history of Sopron before the 15th century.

The Trinity Statue is Central Europe’s earliest outdoors Baroque Solomonic (spiral) column. It commemorates the Black Death Plague of 1695.

The Gothic Goat church was built by the Fransicans in 1280. The spectacular building got its name from the goat depicted on its facade – it was the animal in the coat of arms of Henrik Geisel who funded the building of the church.

The building of the Pharmacy Museum was saved from destruction with the first law concerning the preservation of cultural heritage in 1525. The exhibition shows the tools of chemists and also items of folk medicine.

The Church of St. Michael, built originally in Romanesque style was expanded in Gothic in the 15th century. The 48 meters tall building is one of Hungary’s most significant Gothic buildings. The visitor can see the Romanesque St. Jacob Chapel here.

The remains of the Roman settlement of Scrabantia can still be seen different points of the city. The visitor can see the road, the city wall or a corner building of the forum for example. The Forum Scarbantiae is the only Italian style forum which remained from Pannonia.

The Old Synagogue, built at the beginning of the 14th century, has three parts: the men’s synagogue (Room of Torah), the women’s synagogue and the ritual bathing room, the place of cleansing. As Jews were expelled from Sopron in 1526, the building was neglected until the 1960’s when it was restored. Today it operates as a museum.

Sopron is the city of festivals: many gastronomy and musical events, like the Volt Festival, the Spring Days, Wine Festival, the Sopron Celabration Week or the Fairy Festival await the visitors.