Sopron in Nutshell

Sopron in pictures

Sopron is situated near the western borders of Hungary, at the foot of the Alps, 70 km from Vienna and 220 km from Budapest. It creates a bridge between Hungary and its western neighbours, opening a gate for foreign guests visiting Hungary.

It is one of the oldest jewelboxes of the country. Sopron merges past and present of three cultures: Hungarian, German and Croatian. It was in the Middle Ages, that Sopron reached the climax of its prosperity. Thanks to the town's rich merchants, Sopron's influence extended far beyond Hungary's borders. Today's Sopron is much like an open book, preserving and recalling the history of past centuries, witnessed by the famous Firewatch Tower (founded upon the stones of a fortress built by the Romans), the symbol of the town. The wealth of former times is truly reflected in the town's Gothic and Renaissance style houses. In Hungary this is the place besides Buda where architectural and urban ensambles remained in the most intact unity. The inhabitants of the city have been famed for their hospitality and patriotism. This is perfectly symbolized by the “Fountain of Faith”, made in memory of three historical ev ents of Sopron: (1) in 1277 King László 4th bestowed the rank of a royal free borough on Sopron, in recognition of its loyalty to the Hungarian Crown, (2) in 192l Sopron – due to a referendum – could remain a part of Hungary, (3) in 1989 (at Sopronpuszta on 19 August) a picnic at the “iron curtain” organised by new democratic parties led to the breakthrough of the border, which had a triggering effect on the following events resulted in the fall of the Berlin wall.

Sopron’s culture is trademarked among others by Ferenc Liszt (born 20 km from Sopron) and Joseph Haydn (living and working also in the vicinity of the town).

The curative and recreating air of the natural environment, the hiking routes of the wooded hillsides, the view towers, the mountain springs, and the proximity of Lake Fertő make Sopron one of the most beautiful and most pleasant holiday resorts of Hungary. The Löverek, the hilly area south of the downtown, is the most fascinating and most distinguished recreation area of the city. Calm forests with spruces, oaks and chestnuts, lilies of the valley and cyclamens, hiking paths and lookout towers - these are the attractions of the Löverek.

Another attraction of the historic town of Sopron is represented by the excellent (red) wines of the region, therefore the city is becoming increasingly popular among those who would like to satisfy their thirst with noble wines. In Sopron you can find both traditional Hungarian and international dishes.

The sourrounding of Sopron, the so-called Fertő/Neusiedler Lake Cultural Landscape (partly in Hungary partly in Austria) has been UNESCO World Heritage since 2001. This area has been the meeting place of different cultures for eight millennia. The remarkable rural architecture of the villages surrounding the lake and several 18th- and 19th-century mansions add to the area’s considerable cultural interest.

The surroundings of Sopron (as many places in the Pannonian Basin) are renowned for excellent spas. Bük and Sárvár are among the biggest, but also others (Balf and Hegykő) are located nearby. Besides their curing effect, these spas offer a pleasant pass-time.