Museum Guide Sopron
THE TALES OF THE PASS
Sopron is a Museum Town. How appropriate this remark is! The
variety of colours and lights give the Main Square (Fô tér) a unique
atmosphere. It is most beautiful on a sunny spring morning or a
golden autumn afternoon. It is worth walking around the historic
downtown without any guidebook first, letting our impressions overcome
us, peeping into the inner courtyards of the buildings. The
remains of various styles and eras immediately enchant the visitor.
The valuable exhibitions of the museums and collections offer a
multi-faceted picture of the historic past, rich culture, and vivid artistic
life of Sopron. Longer or shorter excursions promise an enjoyable
way of spending time. You are invited to “meet” the ‘greatest
Hungarian’, István Széchenyi in Nagycenk. After taking a look at
the evocative traditional houses of the village museum in
Fertôszéplak, you can enjoy a visit to Fertôd, to the beautiful palace
of the Esterházy family, getting acquainted with their luxurious way
of life. Starting the tour in the other direction, you can discover the
World Heritage Fertô Region, including the stone quarry of
Fertôrákos, which originates from Roman times, and the Mithras
sanctuary near the border.
Surrender yourself to the unique sights, and have a closer
look at our information booklet!
We hope it will be your perfect guide during your tour.
Sopron, Fő tér
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 century
they also handled the tower clock. The double-headed eagle
was a gift from King Ferdinánd II and Queen Eleonóra for the parliamentary
session and queen’s coronation, both held in Sopron in
1622. 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
Museum Guide Sopron – Kiadja: Sopron Régió Turisztikai Központ Nonprofit Kft.