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Sopron Megyei Jogú Város
Storno-haz Tuztorony es Varoshaza.jpg
Varostorony (4779. szamu muemlek) 5.jpg Ikvahidsopron.JPG Kolostor u 13 Sopron.JPG
Ratz Laszlo szulohaz.jpg Sopron - Hungary (5129642545).jpg
HUN Sopron Flag.svg
Coa Hungary Town Sopron.svg
Coat of arms
Civitas Fidelissima (Most Loyal City/Citizenry)
Anthem: Frank Mortenson — Sopronwalzer
Red pog.svg
Location of Sopron
Hungary physical map.svg
Red pog.svg
Sopron (Hungary)
Coordinates: 47°41′06″N16°34′59″E / 47.68489°N 16.58305°E / 47.68489; 16.58305 Coordinates: 47°41′06″N16°34′59″E / 47.68489°N 16.58305°E / 47.68489; 16.58305
Country Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary
Region Western Transdanubia
County Győr-Moson-Sopron
District Sopron
Established2nd century AD (Scarbantia)
Re-Established9th century AD (Sopron)
City status 1277
  Mayor Dr. Farkas Ciprián (Fidesz-KDNP)
   Deputy Mayor Dr István Simon (Fidesz-KDNP)
   Town Notary Dr Szabolcs Sárvári
  City169.01 km2 (65.26 sq mi)
  City62,246 [1]
  Rank 15th
98,479 (13th) [2]
Demonym(s) soproni
Population by ethnicity (2011)
   Hungarians 88.%
   Germans 5.7%
   Romani 0.6%
   Croats 0.7%
   Romanians 0.2%
   Slovaks 0.1%
   Serbs 0.1%
   Bulgarians 0.1%
Population by religion (2011)
   Roman Catholic 47.9%
   Greek Catholic 1.6%
   Evangelicals 5.6%
   Calvinists 3%
   Jewish 1%
   Non-religious 5%
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code (+36) 99
Motorways M85 Motorway (planned)
NUTS 3 code HU221
Distance from Budapest214 km (133 mi) West
MP Attila Barcza (Fidesz)

Sopron (Hungarian pronunciation:  [ˈʃopron] ; German : Ödenburg, German pronunciation: [ˈøːdn̩ˌbʊʁk] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Slovene : Šopron) is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border, near Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő.



Ancient times-13th century

Bilingual names in the Kingdom of Hungary after 1867 1867 Sopron 5kr Oedenburg.jpg
Bilingual names in the Kingdom of Hungary after 1867

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. By the time Hungarians arrived in the area, it was in ruins. In the 9th11th centuries, Hungarians strengthened the old Roman city walls and built a castle. The town was named in Hungarian after 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 rewarded 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 Hungarians fled from the occupied areas to Sopron, and the city's importance grew.

While the Ottomans occupied most of central Europe, the region north of lake Balaton remained in the Kingdom of Hungary (1538–1867) (captaincy between Balaton and Drava).

In 1676, Sopron was destroyed by a fire. The modern-day city was born in the next few decades, when Baroque buildings were built to replace the destroyed medieval ones. Sopron became the seat of the comitatus Sopron.

The town was the seat of the Ödenburg comitat near 1850. [5] After the compromise of 1867 and until 1918, the city (known with the dual bilingual name of Sopron - Ödenburg) [6] was part of the Habsburg-ruled Kingdom of Hungary.

20th century-present

Sopron plebiscite, French and Italian officers arrive to control the voting districts on 14 December 1921.
Firewatch Tower (12th century) Sopron Tuztorony.jpg
Firewatch Tower (12th century)

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). The German-inhabited parts of these counties were initially awarded to Austria in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919). After local unrest and Italian diplomatic mediation in the Venice Protocol, [7] 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 form the Austrian federal state of Burgenland, while Pressburg/Pozsony was awarded to Czechoslovakia.

Sopron suffered greatly during World War II, 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 are 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 bilingual 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 kilometres (43 miles) away), and from Bratislava, Slovakia (77 km (48 mi) 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." [8] [9]

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 (= Kékfrankos, Blaufränkisch), Traminer, and Green Veltliner (= Zöld Veltelini, Grüner Veltliner) are well-known Sopron wines. Sopron's Blue Frankish and Pinot Noir wines are particularly prized. [10]


The Main Square, Town Hall and the Firewatch Tower Sopron-legifoto52.jpg
The Main Square, Town Hall and the Firewatch Tower
Historical population

In 1910, Sopron had 33,931 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. [11] In 2001, the city had 56,125 inhabitants (92.8% Hungarian, 3.5% German, 3.7% other). [12] Religions: 69% Roman Catholic, 7% Lutheran, 3% Calvinist, 8.1% Atheist, 11.9% no answer, 1% other. [13] [14]


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, nicknamed "Rakéta" (Hungarian for rocket).

Places of interest



The current mayor of Sopron is Ciprián Farkas (Fidesz-KDNP).

The local Municipal Assembly, elected at the 2019 local government elections, is made up of 18 members (1 Mayor, 12 Individual constituencies MEPs and 5 Compensation List MEPs) divided into this political parties and alliances: [15]

PartySeatsCurrent Municipal Assembly
  Fidesz-KDNP 13M            
 Opposition coalition [lower-alpha 1] 4             
  Dialogue 1             


MFC Sopron was a football team based in Sopron. The successor of the club is Soproni VSE.


One of the most well-known songs about Sopron is "Sopronwalzer", a Germanophone tune originally recorded by Frank Mortenson. [16] In 2019, Ciprián Farkas confirmed "Sopronwalzer" as the city song of Sopron.

Notable residents

Twin towns – sister cities

Sopron is twinned with: [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Győr City with county rights in Hungary

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  1. KSH, Sopron, 2017
  2. Eurostat, 2016
  3. KSH - Sopron, 2011
  4. KSH - Sopron, 2011
  5. Dictionnaire universel de M.N. BOUILLET, Paris, 1852 (in French).
  6. Handbook of Austria and Lombardy-Venetia Cancellations on the Postage Stamp Issues 1850-1864, by Edwin MUELLER, 1961.
  7. Beigbeder, Yves (1994), International Monitoring of Plebiscites, Referenda and National Elections, Springer Publishing, p. 81
  8. Surmacz, Jon. "Sopron Hungarian cap city".
  9. Beth, Mary. "The inciDENTAL tourist". USA Today .
  10. "Wine Regions Sopron".
  11. 1910 census (English)
  12. 2001 census - Nationalities (in Hungarian)
  13. 2001 census - Religions (in Hungarian)
  14. Historical population of Győr-Moson-Sopron (Hungarian Central Statistical Office) (in Hungarian)
  15. "Városi közgyűlés tagjai 2019-2024 - Sopron (Győr-Moson-Sopron megye)". Retrieved 2019-11-24.
  16. Frank Mortenson, Sopronwalzer , retrieved 2021-06-05
  17. "Testvérvárosaink". (in Hungarian). Sopron. Retrieved 2020-11-10.