soproni cégek

The one and a half kilometres wide strip of the Sopron Basin and the hills and highlands around were populated from of old, due to their advantageous sites. In the 4th-5th thousandth of years B.C. there already had been populated areas around the Amber Road, the ambience of which became the centre of the latter town (from the exhibited material of the shows "Landscapes and Remnants of the Amber Road" edited by János Gömöri, and "Three Thousand Years along the Amber Road", exposed in the Fabricius House).

The Amber Road itself was never called this way, and the Romans had only to modernise an already existing system of commercial roads. They did this by having covered the dirt road by stone tiles, hence it became dustproof. In the Neolithic the representatives of the Trans-danubian culture of line-ornaments left prestigious records around the area. The population of the villages, the Zheliz group, and the group of the Polish culture that produced handicrafts and tools out of stones both contributed to these collections. Six thousand years ago they were replaced by the group called Balaton Lasinja, who had already been keeping animals.

The settlements of the Copper Age (2500-1900 B.C.) on the side of the Sopron Basin (Nándormagaslat) were already fortified by ditches so as to provide more protection for the inhabitants. This can be accounted for by the fact that the area had already been in the crossing of commercial roads by this time. Tools and jewels refer at the cultures that were settled here during the Brazen Age. The first permanent settlement was established by Celtic tribes, probably around the 8th-9th century B.C. This settlement was located at the present Bécsi Hill and along the streamlet Ikva. This was proven during the saving of findings and art relics that took place before the housing estate Jereván was built. The site is mostly referred at as "Krataucker locality". At the area of the urn-cemetery pieces of the late Brazen Age handicrafts were found. These remnants form a part of the findings involved in the production of tools.

According to our knowledge, the first real castles, fortifications of soil appeared in the 6th-4th centuries B.C. (Iron Age). (These information originate in Lajos Bella's findings that is marked with a monument under the look-out tower Várhely.) The age is mentioned as that of the religion of Hallstatt-age. The table of the Várhely (Burgstall, 483 m) was a fortified settlement of Illyrians in the Hallstatt-age. Around 350 B.C. the area was conquered by the Celts. The building of fortifications and ditches was continued after the first appearance of the Romans; their final length became about 2000 metres, their final area 38 acre. Similar fortifications were built nearby at the site of the today's Károlymagaslat. By the 2nd century B.C. these strongholds were also fixed by stonewalls from the outside.

On the Bécsi Hill remnants of an other settlement were found. The ruins originate in the La Téne-age, and the settlement probably had a fort as well. From the 4th-5th centuries B.C. the findings of the Krataucker location helped a lot to understand the customs, religious traditions of the age. This religious belief contained similar elements to the Ethrusk-Greek system of goddesses who wove and cut the thread of life. The representations of these goddesses etc. were found on the findings of the location. On the reconstruction illustrations the remnants of houses, storages and workshops can be seen. The edifices of the 4th-5th century B.C. were dug into the ground. They had a form similar to a hole or a trench, and were supported by lines of pegs. The real improvement of the settlement followed as the Romans reached the area around the streamlets Ikva and Rák. The Romans arrived during the reign of Tiberius (14-37), and, according to Plinius senior, first they established a settlement on the hills nearby under the name "Oppidum Scarbantia Iulia". Later on, they also occupied the area of today's downtown.

The centre was where today the Main Square lies (Forum), around the Forum houses of civis were built. The Amphitheatre on the Bécsi Hill (2nd century), the cemetery (on the St. Michael Hill) and the pottery workshops (today's Paprét) also belonged to the settlement. Parts of the Forum were the Capitolium (the area of the City Hall), the Basilica, the place of jurisdiction and trans. The Basilica was located where now the Pharmacy House and the Gambrinus lies, up to the building of the Curia - its North-Western approach was found in 2001, in a depth of 4,5 metres, while a gas-line was laid down. After the identification the approach was re-buried. The Basilica had two entrances, each with 3 stairs, according to the prescriptions of the time. Considering the finding, the outline of the Forum that was drawn in the TKM 455 is correct, with the amendment that between the Curia and the Basilica there was no place left for a smaller street. One entrance of the Basilica opened to the Forum, the other one to the Amber Road. Next to this building stood the Curia, together with the ancient Christian and the traditional Roman area of shrines and temples (the Roman one was dedicated to Silvanus, the god of forests, gardens, peasant farms). Both edifices stood at the place of the "Vasalóház" ("Ironing House").

The Roman Scarbantia was located on a crossing between the Amber Road (direction North-South), and the road between Arrabona (Gyõr) and Vindobona (Vienna) (direction East-West). By this time, the filling up of the boggy areas, the founding using pegs and piles had already started between the streamlets Ikva and Rák. The Romans, who also brought their art and culture, did not establish a military base, but created a mainly civic town. The settled were mostly merchants and veterans. The buildings on the boggy areas were founded onto piles and pegs made of wood. This form of building is still very influential onto the terra-base of Sopron's downtown, and causes the high groundwater; the rotting of the wooden piles that cannot access air causes the weakening of bases and founds. These processes caused some inconveniencies and tragedies in the past.

That is why, even with the technology of todays, it is difficult to provide such bases to the preservation of old buildings, which would meet the overall static requirements. This phenomenon is also responsible for the fact that the bases of the Curia (the parts exhibited) had to be brought up to a higher level.

During the reign of Emperor Vespasianus (69-79 AD) the city becomes a municipium (a city that has an own constitution, and whose inhabitants had all the rights of the Roman civis): Municipium Flavium Augustum. The ruins of 73 villas were found nearby, the remnants of those villa-farmlands, which were involved in the cultivation of wine grapes, in the handicrafts' production, and commerce. The Roman Age did not only bring the patrician architecture with herself, but the mass-produced articles also appeared, forcing both Romans and Romanised to apply a similar production system. The commerce of amber-stone became increasingly important in the 1st-2nd century. At this time did the artistically chiselled amber-stones appear as commercial objects. At first, the picture of the city was of one loosely built; it was probably composed of a main road crossing the area diagonally and a number of streets perpendicular to this. The townscape became planned only around 50 A.D. (at the time of Vespasianus).

Before this planning, however, came the building of the Roman castle. It had a form of an ellipse, and was 404 x 250 metres wide. The shape of Scarbantia's walls also refer to the fact that the castle, built before 380, was to protect the inhabitants rather than the Empire. The gates of the castle were at the sites where now the Elõkapu (Front gate) and Hátsókapu (Back gate) are located. The protection against the Marcomann tribes was reinforced by the building of 27 towers along the castle walls. The main axis of the ellipse corresponded to the direction of the Amber Road. Afterwards, the downtown's streets took up the form in which they are visible today. The excavations in the Városház street proved, that, by the building of the castle wall, a new, artificial border line was created, which sometimes separated the parts of already existing houses (the parts outside the wall were destroyed).

The castle had a triple-structured wall (this was not the same as the multiple system of walls that was established in the Middle Age under the mayoralty of Kristóf Lackner, but the Roman castle that was built around the downtown, and it's later system of walls!). This was made of big quadric-stones on the outside, small quadric-stones on the inside, and grout mixed with broken stones in between.

At the entrance and exit of the main road the road grew more narrow - from 4.8 metres to 3 metres - and passed between two towers, where the castle gates provided protection. On the castle wall there were approximately 32-35 towers placed at even distances from each other. Each of them were solid up to the first floor, with a 4x8 ms room on their upper floor so as to provide enough space for the garrison and its equipment. It is very probable, that at the time of the building of the castle the formation of another city-core had already started. This was located around the area of the St. Michael church, where at that time there was a Roman cemetery. According to the enclosed etching, in the 4th century there was an old Christian parish in the city Scarbantia, moreover, it was an episcopate. Christianity in this sight had also "incultured" the former Roman-aged status and here was built one of the first churches of "villa Scrabantiae" as well.

The church functioned as a site of catafalques, too, and the deceased were buried in the Roman-aged cemetery. The St. Michael and the Dorfmeister street provided a link through the Front Gate between the two parts of the city.

The remnants of the early tribal migrations are recognisable here as well, especially if the neighbouring settlements and villages are included as well. The first phase of this migration was marked by the Germanic Quads, which was called the Foederati age (375-433). The second phase is the age of the Huns (especially remarkable in Eastern Pannonia). This period was followed by that of the Eastern Goths (455-471). As fourth the age of the "Sveb heruls" is mentioned, and lastly the Lombard age followed (526-586). Afterwards, when the Avars forged ahead (568), the castle became uninhabited. There is an account about Christians escaping even before, but e.g. some of the Romanised inhabitants were still living here sparsely up until 568. The castle then became a ruin. At the former city's site, a grassland was grown, which, supported by regular wards, was to defend the borders. The place had lost her significance, because there was neither in the age of the migrations nor later a border-line nearby.

The significance of the area was not improved after the Francs' offensive either, wherein Charles the Great stretched his Reign's borders to the Rába. Hence, all territories lying to the North and West of the Rába, became those of the Francs. Because of the continuous attacks of Franc and Bulgarian tribes, the Avar empire, that was weakened from the inside as well, was bound to collapse. About this time the Francs' baptism took place as well, and a sort of feudal system appeared in their society. The new fortresses so as to accommodate border guards were built at this time. An important fund of this time is the so-called Cunpald chalice, which was found where now the Sugar Factory of Petõháza is located.

After the Hungarian Conquest (about 900), the new county-system was established in the area. In county Sopron chief Súr settled. At this time the Roman walls were still 5-6 metres high. Súr was the ancestor of the medieval stem called Osl (Osli), the chiefs of which gave names to lots of settlements around. The Empire of Hungarians reached the river Enns. This is the time of the "roams", which usually started out from Western Hungary. The silver coins that appeared after the taxation of Italian and Western areas, were found here as well. After the Hungarian conquest, considering the continuous offensives of Barbarian tribes, in order to protect the roads and forego the offences, King Stephen established a border fortress on the ruins of the former Scarbantia: Sopron. The King re-established the border line at the Leitha as well.

At King Stephen's time this was rather a re-organised fortress exactly on the line of the Roman castle, than a re-built (or newly built) fort. The coffered structure of the fortress was made of wooden piles and adobe, that was placed onto the restored Roman ruins. An enormous fire had ruined the castle between the years 1030 and 1074: the wooden structures providing the protection of archers and catapults must have reached the lower parts of the walls, where the wooden piles stood. This caused the loam to burn into a reddish colour, with the charred remnants of the piles inside.

The lord's castle had two gates, on the sites of the Elõkapu (Front gate) and Hátsókapu (Back gate). The Front Gate was built just a few metres away from the former Northern Gate of Scarbantia. The Southern Gate of Scarbantia was walled in, and a new gate was opened on the Eastern wall instead. They still could break out of the castle through the old gate, however; this is implied by one of the certificates of Bela the 4th in 1242; a "stratagem" like this is mentioned in it. They started the building next to the Roman castle walls; thus the ellipse-shaped streets were formed (St. George and Templom street). In the focuses of the ellipse two squares were established (Main square - Forum, and St. Ursula square - Salt market).

The latter received its name from the royal salt-depository and distributor. Later the "green stripes" in between the streets were halved and built in; thus the Kolostor street between the Templom and Új street was formed. The houses of this street are parts of the downtown now, at that time they were protected by the castle wall. The early establishment of the castle can be proven by the fact that King Clemens had already pointed out some routs for the crusaders of Gottfried Bouillon in order to let them cross the castle safely. In the certificate "castellum Cyperon" (Sopron) is marked, hence we could suppose that the castle was already a significant one.

The castle itself was a so-called "reeves' castle" (the name Sopron itself probably comes from the first reeve of the town, Suprun), and was attended by the villages nearby. This is referred at by the names of the neighbouring villages. The ecclesiastic remnants of the city also give some hints. According to these, the settlements on the Bécsi hill were to watch over the Roman road that had still been used at this time. The earliest churches of the settlement were also built in this area: the churches of St. John and St. Michael and the chapel of St. Jacob. After the re-capturing of the castle, in 1247 Béla the 4th made the Equestrian Order of St. John settle here so as to protect the town from the side of the Bécsi gate. The church of the Great Notre-Dame, mentioned together with the St. Michael church in 1278, was also located outside the walls, in front of the Front gate, on the place of the Mary-pillar of today. The church was demolished in the year 1533 - regarding military, strategic opinions. Before, the church was the site of the Sopron episcopate. Inside the walls there was a church named after St. George, this is represented by a Christ-torso in the exhibition presenting the town's history. (In the medieval Sopron there were 12 churches.) In 1162 Farkas, serviens of the castle Sopron is mentioned, in 1257 Béla the 4th is speaking about a territory named Harka which belongs to the castle of Sopron, in 1265 the castellan of the royal castle is called Reeve Peter.

The castle (the churches of which already exist) standing on the border-line is several times under the attack of Ottokar the 2nd; between 1253-1278 is occupied and devastated several times. In order to ensure the fidelity of the town, the troops of Ottokar take the children of several families as hostages. Still, in 1277 Sopron opens up her gates to the King Ladislaus the 4th (Kun). To acknowledge the loyalty of the city, to provide further protection for the inhabitants and to raise the (lately lessened) number of inhabitants, the king joins the rest of the royal archers (lõvérek, sagittarii) to the city. (The attributive "Civitas Fidelissima" - received by Sopron in 1921- and the royal letter will be referred at in the caption dealing with the plebiscite.)

The royal castle is raised to be a free royal city in 1277, also by Ladislaus the 4th. This is the time, when the second, outer system of walls is raised around the castle. The privileges of Sopron (formerly given by Béla the 4th and Stephen the 5th) are reinforced: the half of the tollage at the lake Fertõ is to remain for them, so as to enable the proper maintenance of the gates and towers of the castle. The lands of the royal courts men were also to belong to Sopron. The inhabitants of Sopron had no longer to seek the royal reeve in cases of jurisdiction; their own judges were now entitled to judge cases of greater crimes as well, and the decima (tax of 1/20th) of the town could be used for the maintenance of the walls. The citizens may also build towers for the protection of the city.

It is also Ladislaus the 4th, who bans in 1283 the settlement outside the walls, and orders the ones that are already settled that they should move into the city (intra muros). Otherwise, they would lose their estates. This decree marks the appearance of new (probably German) settlers in the area, and the establishment of the Újteleki suburb outside the walls. Between 1277 and 1360, the former royal limen-fortress became a flourishing Free Royal Town, a merchant-town, in which the German inhabitants gradually became a majority. In the May of 1339 Charles the 1st supports the building of the town's fortifications by giving the half of the tollage collected on the Lake Fertõ to the citizens. The expenses of the regular maintenance of the castle was a heavy burden on the citizens of Sopron, so they apply for allowances of taxation at the king. King Sigismund orders the bishop of Gyõr, John, to give the regular decima (tax of 1/20th) to the city in order to provide financial support for the maintenance of the castle walls. The same year, in August, a decree is produced, according to which the town gets to receive 200 Forints out of the 1/30th-tax of Sopron, also to help the maintenance of the walls and the trenches.

Sopron is one of the seven Royal Free Towns, the city's chancellery and archives are established. In 1440 the widow of King Albert, Elizabeth runs for Sopron with her baby son, Ladislaus the 5th, and with her courts men. The next year the town is forfeited to the German King Friedrich III, in spite of the protestation of the league of Free Royal Towns, to which Sopron also belonged. The German king, Friedrich IV, orders the citizens of Sopron in 1447 to end up the building of the balustrade (hiernweer) at the lower wall-strait (zwinger). After 1379 the area which laid outside the downtown but inside the second system of castle walls was divided into four quarters (viertel= quarter, the four suburbs of today). These quarters were divided into four smaller districts as well. The Outer Committee, a college of the town that had 24 members, was thus composed of 8 citizens of the downtown, and 4x4=16 citizens from each of the suburban districts. By this time, the population of the town was probably around 2100-2300 people, but by 1427 the number of inhabitants rose significantly, up to 4000.

The first account for the number of houses was dated in 1379. The guilds first appeared in 1447, which (especially in the early times) did not only mean defending the interests of the trade or representation, but also a guarantee of products and the financial-human resources in order to support the impoverished members of the groups. Interestingly, there were so-called "religious guilds" as well, the purpose of which was purely to keep their religious life. The oldest of these is the Company of St. George, which all priests and city councillors were bound to enter, so that the company held both the profane and religious executive power up to the beginning of the 1550s. In the middle of the 16th century, the walls of the castle are crowned by balustrades. During the reign of King Matthew Corvin the walls of the castle are already getting ruinous.

In 1463 he manages to re-exchange the town, and a year later orders the inhabitants to amend the ruinous walls, and urges the nobility to help them with their work. In 1469 King Matthew lets the town have 100 Forints yearly out of the Crown toll of Sopron, so as to help the building of castle walls and towers.

In a decree dated in 1477, Buda, he lets the City Council know that he ordered the head of his troops which are staying near Sopron to amend and fortify the castle of the town. The troops quartered in the town must have been violent, because the king orders them away, and only lets a few pedestrian troops stay, in order to work on the fortifications of the castle. The castle and the town plays a very important role during Matthew's war against the German Kaiser, and gets ruined during this period. To re-build the ruined parts, in 1483 a decree is born, according to which the town can keep 300 Forints of the yearly toll ten years long, and 200 Forints out of the 1/30th-tax 16 years long. King Ulaslo the 2nd agrees in 1496, that the town may use the 1/30th -tax for the amendment of the walls two years long, still, around 1500 Sopron asks him to free the city of the tolls, because no walls protect the town anymore, and the only tower above the gate is completely ruined as well (omnis desolata est).

The re-edification of the castle must have failed, or the walls got hurt again; in 1507 Ulaslo sends another decree saying, that the city of Sopron should re-build her fortifications. To enable this, he frees the town of all exceptional taxes 3 years long, and also agrees, that during this time they may use the taxes received from the neighbouring villages for this purpose as well. This decree is prolonged in 1510, and in 1515, in a letter dated in the town of Tata, he declares, that all Jews and their principals are to help with the amendments of the walls.

They also must maintain the houses in a very good state, otherwise the City Council can force them to do so. In this same year the king - having said that he had seen the destruction of Sopron - frees all citizens of the 1/30th-taxes, who are willing to deliver the building material in order to re-build their houses - this also concerns the serfs and their personalties (Házi, Archives. I, 6, 232, 250, 322, 333). Louis the 2nd also frees the town of the 500 Forints-exceptional tax in 1525, so that the castle walls may be amended. These works must have finished around the end of 1526, because the King lets János Dóczi, royal treasurer, the authorities of the Comity Sopron, and the royal tax-collectors know, that the town is free of all tolls and taxes for one more year, to end up the strengthening of the castle walls properly.

However, after the reign of King Matthew Corvin the military significance of the castle soon becomes lost. The triple castle walls, first depicted on the map of 1597, are the results of hundreds of years' development. At the same time, the middle wall is filled up with soil (the so-called tower gardens), that is important in the protection of the castle from the outer offensive, but also, the canons of the defence could also be placed onto them.

The big roundel was finished in 1631; a similar tower was built behind the Ursula convent. In 1641 a five-angled, Italian style tower was built at the South-Western corner of the castle. As the fire-arms appeared, the former walls, designed to the old military equipments (archers, etc.) provided no further protection. Thus the holes of the old walls were filled in, moreover, an approximately 1 metre high brick wall was built onto them. Loopholes were cut into the walls, enabling the soldiers to use the new military technologies (filling the arms between the loopholes, and firing them through the holes). The gates were built over, into the entrance dams pitfalls were dug. The castle trench was filled with the water of the Rák Brooklet.

In 1524 the reformation appears in Sopron, at first in the country. In spite of the auto-da-fe's, the majority of the citizens soon convert to Lutheranism. In 1526 the Jews are expelled of the city. In 1529 the Turks occupy and ravage the suburbs. The town still has to resign of the building of an up-to-date defence system. As the offensive fire-arms became more and more effective, and their range also rose, the neighbouring heights (especially the St. Michael hill) were of great disadvantage for the city. Involving the St. Michael hill in the defence system, however, would have meant such expenses for the constantly indebted Habsburg-emperors, that they could not have risked the investment. Thus the Military Council of Vienna, when building the Western defence system of castles, did not update the castle of Sopron.

Before the Eastern of 1617 the Chronicle writes several times about restoration of walls, pre-eminently at the gates (Gazda street - formerly Wieden street, the old St. Michael cemetery, and at all suburban gates). In the famously great year of vinery the tower next to the Back-gate (Hátsókapu) is built, of which unfortunately nothing has remained. In 1627 the trenches, including the long trench, are cleaned again. Next to the Back-gate some towers are built, and the building of the outer castle wall, which had started in 1617, finally comes to an end. Some, considering the early mentioning of the various gates of the town in the decrees (Fisher-gate 1432, St. Michael-gate 1504, Windmill-gate 1523, Newlot-gate 1524, St. Leonard-gate 1475, and Hungarian-gate 1535), mistakenly think that there should have been some early walls.

However, the chronicle states clearly, that the outer walls next to the gates were first established by Lackner, in 1617. So, what kind of walls could have stood here before 1617, if they have been only built after? The right interpretation of the term "gate" must therefore have been "bar", "crossing gates". It should have been a gate-like cut-off of the road, which did not necessarily mean adjoint castle walls. The walls could have been substituted by simple fences. After the building of the castle wall around the downtown was finished, it took a longer time for the triple system of walls with all the towers to develop, and for other settlements (quarters) outside the trenches to build fences made of stones around themselves. These walls or fences, however, did not provide any protection in case of serious attacks.

By the end of the fifteenth century the more or less rectangular area of the castle was surrounded by high, protecting walls. In front of the castle walls there was an approximately 60 metres wide free space, which still can be detected if one looks at the facades of the houses on the Várkerület, Széchenyi square, Petõfi square, Ógabona square, and the Várkerület again. This line of houses follows the line of the slightly broken line of the castle walls. Most of the outer walls and towers are still visible. The area according to limits of the effective archery (according to Jenõ Gyalókai this is 60 m) was left blank, and, to prevent the foes from climbing onto the walls, circular tower were built in front of the walls. Their location enabled the soldiers to fire in almost all directions. If we take a look at the wall that can be seen today, the one that protected the downtown, it is clear that this provided the most of the protection of Sopron.

Accordingly, in the triple system of walls this line was most fortified with densely placed, circular towers. The inner wall, facing the wall-straits inside the middle walls, formed the most inner circle of the system. This wall - which even contains walls of existing houses, sometimes re-built with the facades of those - also contains loopholes and ramps, which all refer to the original purpose of it. So we can find in the Storno-house (Main sq. 8) the ogived door-frame of a medieval ramp, or a gothic door-frame in the Lackner house (Main sq. 7) In the St. George street 19, above the line of the wall-strait, the ruinous medieval wall still rises up to a height of about 5 metres. In its upper part, three loopholes can be seen, the size of which equals to the size of those in the main wall. Not only pedestrian-approaches were leading to the wall-strait that rose 3 metres high above the inner area of the town, but also ramps for carriages. In the courtyard of the house Nr. 1 in the St George street, a medieval gate-frame can be seen, ending in segmented arches , the width of which was about 2,40 metres. The inner wall of the triple wall-system can be detected securely: in the courtyards and ends of the houses Nr. 8, 7, 6 of the Main Sq., Nr. 3, 2, 1 of the Orsolya sq, Nr. 19, 17, 15 of the St. George street At the ends of the lots the area are called the "tower gardens". The houses Nr. 2, 4, 16, 18, 22 of the Templom street, Nr. 13, 9, 7, 5 of the St George street probably contain such walls.

The inner walls could have been 5-6 metres higher than those of the wall-straits, and were about 60-100 centimetres deep. The equal size of the towers in the middle line of walls (5, 20 metres inner diameter), and their even distribution along the walls (about 30 metres distance between the axles) are to prove, that the whole protection area was built at the same time. The depth of the main walls above the wall-straits, at the loopholes is about 60-70 centimetres. The distances between the axles of the loopholes lie between 2,40 and 2,80 metres, thus forming a regular line. The loophole is located in the plane of the wall that is facing the trench. It is 8 centimetres wide and 65 centimetres high. Towards the inside it is widening to 65-70 centimetres, and is formed with a cone-lining which ends in a segmented arch. In most cases it is coped over with bricks. The circular towers still exist, though some only partially, in the houses Nr. 7, 5 of the Main sq., Nr. 2, 8, 16 of the Templom street, Nr. 2 of the Színház street, Nr. 3, 2 of the Orsolya sq, Nr. 19, 15, 9, 3 of the St. George street, and in the house Nr. 4 of the Városház street. Watching from the site of the former castle trench, the circular towers next to the houses Nr. 110, 102 and 98 of the Várkerület, and in the courtyards of the houses Nr. 10 of the Várkerület, Nr. 11, 15, 19, 25 and 31 of the Színház street still can be seen. The depth of the walls of the towers above, which were providing protection from the sides and at the corners, equals to that of the main walls.

The size of its loopholes cannot be determined, since none of them has remained intact. Still we can appoint that the towers had 3 loopholes each, the middle one always facing forwards, the ones at the sides facing the castle walls.

According to the map drawn in 1597 the towers followed each other keeping a distance of 25 metres, and at the houses Nr. 17 - 18 of the Széchenyi square there were two towers standing, with 12-13 metres of axle distance between them. The remnants of one of these towers could be the ruin that was found in 2001, when the basement of the Congress Centre was laid down. The location of these two towers could possibly have been an arrangement for the protection of the gates. The baroque state of the Front gate (Elõkapu) still bears the moralities of the medieval structure of the castle. This state is conserved by a drawing that was made before 1754 by Joannes Georgius Trost Maurermeister, in order to fix a place for the chapel and statue of St. John of Nipomo that was to be built (original: Sopron, Common Archives). The castle, besides the small towers and the bigger "roundels", that also allowed the positioning of fire-arms, also had a tower of the old Italian system. This was the tower at the South-Western corner of the castle, with one of its elevations facing the Petõfi square, with the other facing the Széchenyi square. The tower was standing out with about 6 metres in front of the adjoint walls' plane, so that these walls became easy to protect. This "old Italian" tower, together with the roundel, was built surprisingly late, after 1597. The other roundel was built somewhat before - in the middle of the seventeenth century - it has a structure that usually was used in the earlier towers. In the year 1676 an enormous conflagration is destroying the downtown of Sopron. Most of the houses, by this time possessed by the nobility who start to seek protection inside the walls, get hurt some way.

The vaulting tract of the outer castle, which had remained in a few metres' length in the garden of the Museum Ferenc Liszt, was built around 1640. The Bécsi- (Viennese) -gate (also called Szélmalom, i.e. Windmill gate), that lies in the axis of the Bécsi Road, is the point where the line of the outer castle wall breaks. The little tower standing next to the gate is quite ruinous. If one follows the direction of the wall to the South-west, can determine the place of the former dormitory of the Jesuits - the building still exists, however, nowadays it is used as an agricultural building. Here the outer wall was fortified by a smaller tower as well; this was demolished in the last century, when the building of the road took place. An other little tower can, however, still be seen between the Lackner street and the Ikva Brooklet, on the site where the walls followed the direction of the Patak street. Forming the inner lines of the Ferenczi János street and the Újteleki street, the Volán coach terminal, the Várfal street and the Fehér Dániel street, the walls and two little roundels are still visible.

The direction of the wall heading south broke at the Museum, and formerly it ran along the line of the Deák square. The next line, which breaks about the site of the hospital, heads upwards, towards the Kõfaragó square. From here, it becomes a division line between the Wooden Market (Fapiac) and the lots of the Pócsi street, and joins the walls of the catholic cemetery. Two little towers are still standing along this line. The outer walls were joining beset areas, crofts. Such was the croft of the Jesuits' dormitory next to the Bécsi-gate around 1660, and such was the orchard and vegetable garden of the Jesuits (later on the Franciscans possessed them) around 1700 next to the János Ferenczy street.

The depiction of these gardens is shown on the gravure of Michel Zakariás made in 1700, which shows the city from a bird-sight. In the legend of the picture the Bécsi- (Viennese-) gate is called Windmühltor, the one between the two towers Bdechthurm. To the wall, which girdled around the downtown, no houses were built from the outside at this time. In addition to the outer walls described above, there is an other outer wall capturing a smaller area, the remnants of which can be seen and followed up at the shores of the Ikva, and at the site of the Paprét that is closer to the downtown. There is a small tower remained in the wall behind the Tûzoltó-tower as well. At the end of the 17th century, when the Ottomans leave the country, one of the main commercial roads (trade of horses and cattle) crosses Sopron. At the beginning of the 18th century the town belongs to the ten best of Hungary. The trade of typography, the moulding of canons and church bells, the traditional blue-painting appears. The castle trenches are filled with ground; little vegetable-gardens develop instead. At this time the development of the Várkerület (Castle round) also finishes. In 1753 is the first colliery of the country is discovered, and it also starts functioning, thanks to the first steam-driven conveyor of the country. After 1775 the right of citizenship can also be possessed by inhabitants who don't own a house. After 1786 Sopron gradually becomes a small town, in spite of the fact that it's still the capital of the county. The number of the inhabitants is more than 11000 by this time.

In 1835 István Széchenyi becomes a honorary citizen of the town, he establishes a steam-driven mill in 1842, and saving banks with the help of the German merchants. After 1840 the formerly expelled Jews can return into the town. By this time, outside of the quarters of the suburbs (which by this time had became a sort of "outer downtown"), moreover, outside the Lackner walls, another building of houses is started. These areas are called Front-town (Vorstadt), in order to distinguish them from the quarters inside the outer walls. In the freedom-fight of 1848 the town does not play a significant role, in the same year Sopron is lodged by the troops of Windischgrätz, and, after the freedom-fight is beaten down, the town becomes the centre of the Trans-danubian District (the financial, military and police matters of 9 former counties are managed from here). In 1850 the City Council is abolished, of the villages around only Brennberg belongs to Sopron in the future. The railway between Sopron and Nagykanizsa is established; however, the city would not lie on the railway line connecting Budapest and Vienna. The gas-works start to function. After the establishment of the Austro-Hu nagrian empire Sopron re-gains her position as county capital. At the end of the century the capitalistic development of the town starts inside the Monarchy, which is interrupted by the First World War and the proclamation of the Republic of Councils. In 1919, by the Treaty of Saint-Germaine, a significant portion of Western Hungary is given to Austria.

When the plebiscite of the 14th December 1921 takes place (antedated by the battle of Ágfalva), Sopron and the area around stays Hungarian. After this plebistice the town receives the prestigious title "Civitas Fidelissima" (the most faithful town). Some say, that this name already was mentioned in the decree of Ladislaus (Kun) the 4th, in 1277, and the title of 1921 is only a renewal of the former one, but the mentioned medieval decree does not contain information referring to the term "Civitas Fidelissima". The decree mentions faithfulness twice: once when speaking about the faithful citizens of Sopron who present themselves (fideles nostri ciues de Supronio), and the second time, when he writes about the citizens who proved their loyalty to the king by sacrificing their children in hostage (eorum ciuium gratam fidelitatem). In the inter-war years the town lies on the border, which causes severe damages in the economy. This the town tries to balance by developing the textile-industry and tourism. On the 19th March 1944 Sopron is also lodged by the German troops. Near New Year's Day the city had three heavy bombardments to suffer. On the 31st of March the Soviets reached Sopron.

During the after-war years most of the German-speaking population is evacuated. In 1950 Sopron loses her rank of a County Capital. During the socialism the town lays in the so-called "border-line", and can only be visited with special permissions. In the course of the years, its industry gets forfeited, partly consciously, partly because of the town's vague accessibility, and becomes rather culture-orientated. Since Sopron lays in the "border-line", and the Iron Curtain is so much nearby, the harassments of visitors on the trains, public roads, etc. are regular. The mines around the area are cleaned up relatively soon after, but the "up-to-date" system of barbed wire, reacting by touch, runs kilometres long inside and alongside the border. The town tries to defend herself, as she can: during the Festive Days of Sopron her gates get to be somewhat wider opened, and she really can show her hidden beauties to the visitors. On the 19th August 1989 in Fertõrákos the so-called Paneuropean Picnic was held, when the barbed wire of the Iron curtain first was cut. Hundreds of East-Germans flew through the border to Austria. In the decade after the changes the town became that of the guest-workers and trading. The shopping-tourism became very significant, onto which phenomenon the whole system of shops and shopping-centres was built. The significance of the shopping-tourism will only lessen around the millennium, but even then, it would still remain very important in the life of the town.
The city would like to become a site of the high quality tourism, entertainment, vintners, and conferences.