The area presently occupied by Sopron, which lies at the foot of the Alpine hills was inhabited by Illyrans in the Bronze Age and by Celts in the Iron Age. In the first decades of the 1st century, the Romans established the town which was then called Scarbantia.
In the referendum held in 1921 73% of the population reasserted their Hungarian nationality and so Sopron was given the Civitas Fidelissima award for loyalty.
Since the 1960s tourism has played an important role here. The many museums and the Lovér forests attract tourists. For restoration of monuments, Sopron won a European prize in 1975.
Lake Fertő is only 20,000 years old, yet its shallow water is already silting up and reed is taking over. 210 nesting and migrant bird species have been registered on the Hungarian side. Reed-growing areas and inner lakes separated by reedbeds are connected by a 240-km long network of canals.
A waterside resort has been established at Fertőrákos. 15,000-20,000 holidaymakers spend the weekends here in summer, windsurfing, boating and sailing, but motorboats are prohibited. The lake is surrounded by salt plains, bogs and wet meadows in the east and southeast. Salt plains are excellent sites for both nesting and migrant birds.
The Baroque styled buildings and park of Eszterházy castle (photo)provides a wonderful sight of Fertőd. Haydn spent here two decades serving prince Miklós. His memorial is kept alive by an exhibition in his residence. Exhibition of local history is also located in this castle. Baroque days, Haydn seminary, concerts and master courses are organized year by year. The village has a population of 3169 persons. The village is furnished with water and gas network, while the sewerage is under construction.
Mansion of count István Széchenyi in Nagycenk, since 1973 a memorial museum. Statue of the "Greatest Hungarian", count Széchenyi was made by Alajos Strobl, 1897.
There are guided tours in the castle year-round.
The millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its natural environment is on the World Heritage list.
The first Benedictine monks settled here in 996 and went on to convert the Hungarians, to found the country's first school and, in 1055, to write the first document in Hungarian. From the time of its founding, this monastic community has promoted culture throughout central Europe. Its 1,000-year history can be seen in the succession of architectural styles of the monastic buildings -- the oldest built in 1224 -- which today still house a school and the monastic community.
History and information
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