The symbol of the city of Sopron is the Firewatch Tower. Its cylindrical lower part was built on the remains of the Roman town wall, and served as the north tower of the city from the 13th century onwards.
The tower acquired its present form with its Baroque balcony and
helm roof after the great fire of 1676.
The tower guards fulfilled a most important role: watching the area, they indicated the position of the fire with lanterns at night and colourful flags in the daytime.
They also warned the inhabitants of the city of foreign soldiers or
wine coaches approaching the town.
They showed their musical talent as well, providing music at weddings, funerals, and town festivals, based on contracts with the city council.
They drew the attention of the people to the passing of time by sounding their trumpets from the balcony every quarter of an hour, and from the 16th centurythey also handled the tower clock.
The double-headed eagle was a gift from King Ferdinánd II and Queen Eleonóra for the parliamentarysession and queen’s coronation, both held in Sopron in1622.
However, it was placed on top of the tower only after the
great fire, on Emperor Lipót’s nameday.
The foundations of the tower were damaged during the demolition of the old City Hall in 1893.
To recover their stability, the wide main port was built, based
on the plans of Frigyes Schulek.
The Firewatch Tower is the symbol of faithfulness. In a referendum
held on December 14th, 1921, Sopron and eight neighbouring villages expressed their wish to remain part of Hungary. In memory of the referendum, a Baroque door-frame and a sculptural group entitled
“The people of Sopron paying homage to the mythological figure
of Hungaria” were created, designed by Rezsô Hikisch and
Zsigmond Kisfaludy Strobl.
After climbing nearly 200 spiral stairs, a splendid view of the monument town can be enjoyed from the balcony of the tower – the former post of the guards.
Opening hours: January-March: 10.00-16.00
April: 10.00-18.00, May-September: 10.00-20.00
November-December: 9.00-17.00 (Closed on Monday!)
Phone: +36 99 311 327