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Sopron (pronounced "show-PRON"), historically also known by the German name Ödenburg, is the name of a town in Hungary. It is also the name of a historical county or comitatus in Hungary, see Sopron county. unofficial site with 300 links
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. When the area that is today Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire, a city called Scarbantia stood here. Its forum was where now the main square of Sopron can be found.
During the Great Migration Scarbantia was 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 got its Hungarian name at this time, from a castle steward named Suprun. In 1153 it was mentioned as an important town.
In 1273 Otakar II, the king of Bohemia occupied the castle and even though he took the children of Sopron's noblemen with him as hostages, the city opened its gates when the armies of Ladislaus IV arrived. The king awarded Sopron by elevating her to the rank of free royal town.
The people of Sopron didn't support the revolution led by Francis II Rákóczi against the Habsburgs, and because of this the armies of István Bocskai ravaged the city. In the following decades the citizens strengthened the castle and the city walls.
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 mediaeval ones. Sopron became seat of the comitatus Sopron.
Following the break up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, four western Hungarian counties were awarded to Austria in the Treaties of St.Germain (1919) and Trianon (1920). After local unrest, Sopron's status as part of Hungary (along with that of the surrounding 8 villages) was decided by local plebiscite, held on December 14, 1921, with 65% voting for Hungary. Since then Sopron is called Civitas Fidelissima (The Most Loyal Town), and the anniversary of the plebiscite is a city holiday. The other three counties today form the Austrian federal state of Burgenland.
During the Socialist era the government tried to turn Sopron into an industrial city, but didn't succeed, and Sopron remained the pretty Baroque city it was. 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 1500s.
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.
- West-Hungarian University (University of Sopron)
- CyberPress - An informative magazine about Sopron's public life
- ImageTownsIndex - Virtual Tour of Sopron
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