Aerial photography of the City Hall and the Main square


Coat of arms
Sopron is located in Hungary
Location of Sopron
Coordinates: 47°41′06″N 16°34′59″E / 47.68489°N 16.58305°E / 47.68489; 16.58305Coordinates: 47°41′06″N 16°34′59″E / 47.68489°N 16.58305°E / 47.68489; 16.58305
Country  Hungary
County Győr-Moson-Sopron
 – Mayor Tamás Fodor (Fidesz-KDNP)
 – Total 169.06 km2 (65.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 – Total 60,755
 – Density 342.45/km2 (886.9/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 9400
Area code(s) 99

Sopron (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈʃopron]; German: Ödenburg, Croatian: Šopron, Latin: Scarbantia) is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border, near the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő.



Ancient times-13th century

Firewatch Tower (12th century)
Esterházy Palace

When the area that is today Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire, a city called Scarbantia stood here. Its forum was located where the main square of Sopron can be found today.

During the Migration Period Scarbantia was believed to be deserted and by the time Hungarians arrived in the area, it was in ruins. 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.

In 1273 King Otakar II of Bohemia occupied the castle. Even though he took the children of Sopron's nobility with him as hostages, the city opened its gates when the armies of King Ladislaus IV of Hungary arrived. The king awarded Sopron by elevating it to the rank of free royal town.

16th-19th centuries

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. Sopron became seat of the comitatus Sopron.

20th century-present

Following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ethnic Germans inhabited parts of four western Hungarian counties: Pozsony (Pressburg in German; Bratislava in Czech/Slovak), Vas (Eisenburg), Sopron (Ödenburg) and Moson (Wieselburg). These counties were initially awarded to Austria in the Treaty of Saint Germain (1919). After local unrest, Sopron's status as part of Hungary (along with that of the surrounding eight villages) was decided by a controversial, local plebiscite held on December 14, 1921, with 65% voting for Hungary. Since then Sopron has been called Civitas Fidelissima ("The Most Loyal Town", Hungarian: A Leghűségesebb Város), and the anniversary of the plebiscite is a city holiday. However, the western parts of Vas, Sopron and Moson counties did join Austria and today forms the Austrian federal state of Burgenland, while Pressburg/Pozsony was awarded to Czechoslovakia.

Sopron suffered greatly during World War II, as the Nazis and their Hungarian allies transported to death camps and killed almost all Jewish citizens and some left-wing workers, and it was bombed several times. The Soviet Red Army captured the city on April 1, 1945. On August 19, 1989, it was the site of the Pan-European Picnic, a protest on the border between Austria and Hungary, which was used by over 600 citizens of East Germany to escape from the GDR to the West. As the first successful crossing of the border it helped pave the way for the mass flight of East German citizens that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.

During the Socialist era the government tried to turn Sopron into an industrial city, but much of the medieval town center remains, allowing the city to remain an attractive site for tourists.

Today, Sopron's economy immensely benefits from the European Union. Having been a city close to nowhere, that is, to the Iron Curtain, Sopron now has re-established full trade relations to nearby Austria. Furthermore, after being suppressed during the Cold War, Sopron's German-speaking culture and heritage is now recognized again. As a consequence, many of the city's street-and traffic-signs are written in both Hungarian and German making it an officially bi-lingual city due to its proximity to the Austrian frontier. Visitors admire the large number of buildings in this city that reflect medieval architecture - rare in war-torn Hungary. Situated close to the Austrian border, Sopron receives many visitors from Vienna (70 km away), and from Bratislava, Slovakia (77 km away), as well as from the United States, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Japan, and Scandinavia, who visit to take advantage of the excellent low-cost dental services offered: Sopron boasts so many dental clinics—more than 300—that the city is known as the "dental capital of the world."[1][2]

Jewish history

Wine production

Sopron is a significant wine producing region, one of the few in Hungary to make both red and white wines. Grapes include Kékfrankos for red wine and Traminer (Gewürztraminer) for white wine. In climate it is similar to the neighbouring Burgenland wine region in Austria, and several winemakers make wine in both countries. Blue Frankish, Tramini, and Green Veltelini are well-known Sopron wines. Sopron's Blue Frankish and Pinot Noir wines are particularly prized.[3]


Bilingual (Hungarian/German) road signs in Sopron.
Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1870 23,102
1880 25,513 +10.4%
1890 29,788 +16.8%
1900 36,790 +23.5%
1910 38,114 +3.6%
1920 39,525 +3.7%
1930 40,906 +3.5%
1941 47,569 +16.3%
1949 36,506 −23.3%
1960 41,981 +15.0%
1970 47,952 +14.2%
1980 54,836 +14.4%
1990 55,083 +0.5%
2001 56,175 +2.0%
2011 60,755 +8.2%

In 1910 Sopron had 33,932 inhabitants (51% German, 44.3% Hungarian, 4.7% other). Religions: 64.1% Roman Catholic, 27.8% Lutheran, 6.6% Jewish, 1.2% Calvinist, 0.3% other.[4] In 2001 the city had 56,125 inhabitants (92.8 % Hungarian, 3.5% German, 3.7% other).[5] Religions: 69% Roman Catholic, 7% Lutheran, 3% Calvinist, 8.1% Atheist, 11.9% no answer, 1% other.[6][7]


Storno house

The architecture of the old section of town reflects its long history; walls and foundations from the Roman Empire are still common, together with a wealth of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque structures, often artistically decorated, showing centuries of stability and prosperity.

There is an old synagogue and other remains from the town's former Jewish community, which was expelled in the 16th century.

On Daloshegy, there is a 165-metre tall FM-/TV-broadcasting tower, which looks has the nickname "Rakéta" (Hungarian for rocket).

Places of interest

  • City centre
  • Firewatch Tower
  • Walls with Roman origin
  • Széchenyi Square and Flag of Loyalty
  • Kecske Church
  • Esterházy Palace(baroque)
  • Eggenberg House
  • City Hall (eclectic, 1895)
  • Storno House (renaissance)
  • Fabricius House
  • "Two Moors" House (18th century baroque)
  • Chemist's Museum (15th–16th century. The house was pronounced the first national monument in Hungary by Louis II of Hungary in 1525.)
  • Lábasház (16th–17th century)
  • Gambrinus House (Old city hall)
  • Taródi Castle (István Taródi built the castle by himself. He started the building operations in 1945, when he was 20.)


  • Cartoon Forum (From Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 September 2010)
  • Spring Festival of Sopron (Soproni Tavaszi Fesztivál)
  • Festal Weeks of Sopron (Soproni Ünnepi Hetek)
  • VOLT festival
  • Civitas Pinceszínház (Civitas Basement Theater)
  • Liszt Ferenc Művelődési Központ (Franz Liszt Conference and Cultural Centre )

Photo gallery


MFC Sopron was a football team based in Sopron.

Notable residents

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Sopron is twinned with:

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sopron — Sopron …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sopron — / Ödenburg Sopron Bandera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sopron — Héraldique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SOPRON — (Ger. Oedenburg), city in W. Hungary on the Austrian border, within proximity of the Seven Communities of burgenland . Jews were living there during the 14th century, according to the prevailing custom in a Jewish street. Their residence in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • şopron — ŞOPRÓN, şoproane, s.n. Construcţie (din scânduri) care serveşte drept adăpost pentru unelte agricole, nutreţ şi vite; şoproneaţă. [var.: şópru s.n.] – Din germ. Schoppen. Trimis de LauraGellner, 01.05.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  ŞOPRÓN s. 1. (pop.)… …   Dicționar Român

  • Sopron — (spr. schóp ron), magyar. Name für Ödenburg (s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sopron — (spr. scho ), ungar. Name von Ödenburg …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sopron SE — FC Sopron Voller Name FC Sopron Gegründet 1921 Vereinsfarben rot schwarz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sopron — Ödenburg (German), Šoproň (Czech), Sopron (Hungarian, Romanian), Šopron (Croatian) …   Names of cities in different languages

  • Sopron — Original name in latin Sopron Name in other language OEdenburg, Scarabantia, Scarbantia, Shopron, Sopron, Sopronas, Sopronium, shopuron, shprn, soparona, swprwn, syopeulon, xiao pu lang, denburg, opron, opronas, Шопрон State code HU… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.