Sopron, Western Hungary

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Sopron is a vivid, charming town situated near the western borders of Hungary, at the foot of the Alps, 60 km from Vienna. It creates a bridge between Hungary and its western neighbours, opening a gate for foreign guests visiting Hungary.

Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire a city called Scarbantia. Its forum was located where the main square of Sopron can be found today. In the 9th–11th centuries Hungarians strengthened the old Roman city walls and built a castle. The town received its Hungarian name at this time from a castle steward named Suprun. In 1153 it was mentioned as an important town.

During the Ottoman occupation of Hungary the Ottoman Turks ravaged the city in 1529, but did not occupy it. Many people from the occupied areas fled to Sopron, and the city's importance grew.

In 1676 Sopron was destroyed by a fire. The modern-day city was born in the next few decades, when beautiful Baroque buildings were built in place of the old medieval ones.

The inhabitants of the city are famed for their hospitality and loyalty to their hometown. This is also symbolized by the 'Gate of Faith', which can be found on the southern side of the Firewatch Tower, the symbol of the city, and which was made in memory of the referendum of 1921, where some counties were initially awarded to Austria in the Treaty of Saint Germain (1919) but the people of Sopron voted to stay part of Hungary. Since then Sopron has been called Civitas Fidelissima (The Most Loyal Town).

Things to visit: The City Hall was built in 1896, The Storno House with its highly interesting collection. The Goat Church provided a venue for coronations and parliamentary sessions. The Holy Trinity Statue is a masterpiece of the Hungarian Baroque, while the neo-Gothic Ursuline Church is one of the most impressive architectural monuments of the past century.

The proximity of Lake Ferto make Sopron one of the most beautiful and most pleasant holiday resorts of Hungary. The hilly Lővérek area south of the city, is the most fascinating and most distinguished area of the city. It offers calm forests with spruces, oaks and chestnuts, lilies of the valley and cyclamens, hiking paths and lookout towers.

Another attraction of the historic town of Sopron is the excellent wines of the region.

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