This County lies at the junction of the Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld), the Sopron Hills (Soproni-hegység), and Alpokalja and Bakony and the Sokoró Hills (Sokorói-dombság). Its territory evolved from joining parts of the historic counties of Győr, Sopron, Moson, and Pozsony. Thereafter some municipalities in Veszprém County also joined (in several stages between 1920 and 2002).
This County, being adjacent to Austria and Slovakia, constitutes the north-western entrance to Hungary: Roads, railways, and waterways of European significance cross its territory.
Its memorable monuments include the downtown of Győr, Sopron and Mosonmagyaróvár, the Esterházy Mansion in Fertőd, the Széchenyi Mansion in Nagycenk, and the churches and mansions of its towns and villages. The Millenary Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma and the Fertő/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape were listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Two national parks, many landscape protection areas and nature parks, and several nature reserves can also be found in the County.
The purpose of the SacraVelo project managed by the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Government and completed with support of the European Union is to jointly introduce people to the sacred values of the counties of the Hungarian-Slovakian border region that are located along the Danube, so that people could spend their time actively and cycle tourism may thrive.
The network of the SacraVelo bicycle pilgrim routes follows the popular and beloved tourist destinations and the EuroVelo international bicycle route network.
The SacraVelo project package encompassing Győr-Moson-Sopron, Komárom-Esztergom, Nagyszombat, and Pozsony counties indicates a network of routes along the sacred values that is safe to cover by bicycle. There are also cycling centres in Bacsfa (Csallóköz) and Szil (Rábaköz), constituting two locations of the network that are offered and signed with plates.
The network of SacraVelo bicycle pilgrim routes assigned to Győr-Moson-Sopron County is 648 kilometres long and comprises 110 municipalities, along which 82 smaller resting-places were founded. The network in the County offers 209 sacred sights, and people are guided by 139 signboards providing maps and information in four languages. The sacred destinations are presented using both traditional and modern equipment and methods (i.e. website and mobile application), which provide cycling pilgrims and tourists with useful additional information apart from information related to finding the interesting locations and showing the sights in detail.
There is a painted stone statue next to the street on Fő utca (Main Street). The work depicts the Virgin Mary, who is holding her son, the dead Jesus, on her lap after he has been taken down from the cross. The inscription on the pedestal reads: “Erected by György Kocsis”.
There has been an Evangelical parent congregation in Beled since the end of the 16th century. For a long time, this was a simple, thatched prayer house without a tower. The current church was consecrated on 20 August 1806. The altar was added in 1835 as well as an organ in 1842. The tragic fire of 1859 destroyed the church as well as the school’s roof, which was replaced with wooden shingles. The church was renovated in 1932, receiving a new organ while the altar gained an image created by the art teacher, Imre Oppel. The title of the altarpiece is Jesus, the Good Shepherd. One of the stained-glass windows depicts Luther’s rose, the other a baptismal jug. On the latter, there is a scriptural quotation as well as three dates: 1517 – the start of the Reformation, 1806 – the year the church was built, and 2018 – the year the window’s image was created.
The one-naved, late Baroque church was built in 1794. According to the Latin stone sign mounted in the wall, it was renovated in 1844 when it also gained a tower and Classicist facade. All the work was carried out at the expense of József Horvátheghi Horváth (who died in 1859 and whose grave can be seen in the cemetery). The altarpiece, the 12-year-old Jesus in the temple, is a late work of István Dorfmeister. The multi-part painting covering the sanctuary wall was created by Zoltán Závory in 1975: at the top, a representation of the Trinity between two angels; on one side, the presentation of the 40-day-old Jesus in the temple; on the other side, the miraculous multiplication of the loaves; the figures of the Prophet Isaiah and Matthew the Evangelist can be seen on the two edges of the composition.
László Batthyány-Strattmann was born in the building of the primary school in the former Batthyány Castle on 28 October 1870. The duke, an ophthalmologist, healed the poor free of charge and restored the sight of numerous blind people. The village’s famous offspring was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 23 March 2003 in Rome. There is an exhibition on the life of the duke turned doctor in the building. A bust of the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann stands in front of the castle while there is a small neo-Gothic chapel on the other side of the road.
The village’s first chapel was built in 1562. The church, constructed in 1735, was destroyed by the 1878 fire along with half the village. The current church was built in 1910 based on the plans of Béla Hőnel. Its construction is also commemorated in a local folk song (“Bádogozzák a kiliti temlomot” – They’re tin-plating the Kiliti church). The neo-Gothic church is decorated with beautiful murals, arched vaulting and stained-glass windows. László Batthány-Strattmann, the blessed and beatified aristocratic doctor is also immortalised in one of the church’s stain-glassed windows. The memory of the village’s famous offspring is preserved by the altar, sculpture and relic in the chapel next the entrance.
Dénes fought in the service of King Béla against the Czech Ottokar and was seriously injured in his defence. Therefore, in 1265, the king granted him land worth five soccages as a token of his gratitude. This area was named after him, so ‘Dénes’s village’. In the 1610s, Mózes Czráky raised a new castle in Dénesfa to replace the ancient family seat. The former home of the counts acquired its current Classicist form, decorated with a Tuscan-style balcony and tympanum, in the reconstruction by József Hild completed between 1825 and 1830. The castle is set in 24 hectares of parkland, amongst centuries-old trees. The chapel in the corner of the building is also the parish church for the small village of Répce. It’s worth visiting to see the richly gilded, green Baroque furnishings (armchair, organ cabinet and altar) as well as the altarpiece depicting the glorification of St Margaret of Antioch.
Jewish people lived in the village from the mid-1800s. Mosondarnó and Zseli combined in 1934 to form the village of Darnózseli, which was a small centre for the Jewish population of the area. They had a prayer house on the main street, Fő utca, and a cemetery on the outskirts of the village. The latter was opened in 1883, with the last burial taking place in 1943. In 1985, a memorial wall was erected to commemorate the Darnózseli and the Szigetköz victims of the deportations.
As the village grew in the 19th century, it became increasingly urgent to build a new church instead of the small church on the outskirts of the village. Plans for the new church were completed by May 1914, but construction did not begin then because of World War I. Following the war, the village’s parish priest continued to push for the church’s construction. In the summer of 1929, work began to grace the village with a bright, spacious neo-Gothic house of God with a tall tower, based on Károly Pavlovics’s plans. The organ was made by Otto Rieger’s company in Budapest while the glass windows depicting the saints were also produced in a Budapest workshop. The altar and the Stations of the Cross pictures are the work of János Heckenast. The benches were made by János Igali, a local carpenter. The church was consecrated in 1930 by Dr Jusztinián Serédi, Archbishop of Esztergom and prince primate.
The village’s main square has gained several new wooden sculptures. These can be found in front of the church and in front of the fire station. They are the work of József Bálint. The wood-carver from Fejér County has made Darnózseli’s new main square a more homey place for local residents and also attractive for cyclists to take a break with his sculptures depicting life and belief in the Szigetköz (the Szigetköz tree, St Joseph and the baby Jesus, bird’s-nesters, etc.).
The most impressive building in Csorna is the Premonstratensian monastery in the town centre and the parish church connected to it. The monastery was founded in 1180 by the area’s patron and gained its current late Baroque, Classicist style form in 1790. The tower stands behind the sanctuary. The Baroque high altar dates from 1780 and the pulpit from 1780. The main altarpiece depicts the ascension of Mary. The coat of arms of the provost, the triumph of St Michael, can be seen above the throne. The left-hand side altar’s picture of the Black Madonna miraculously survived a fire. Prayer hearings are held in front of the painting of the Madonna, the first of which was recorded in 1761. The right-hand altarpiece of St Vendel was painted in 1874. The tabernacle was carved by Ernő Kiss, a folk artist from Bogyoszló. There is also an exhibition hall in the building, where permanent exhibitions provide an insight into the religious and secular history of the Rábaköz and Csorna. A Mary Column dating from 1780 stands in the park in front of the church. The pedestal bears figures of St Florian, St Donatus and St Sebastian with Mary holding baby Jesus rising from among them.
The church acquired its present form with the reconstruction and expansion completed in 1794 thanks to the support of the Eszterházy family. The apse of the sanctuary and its thick walls, however, denote its medieval origin. The altarpiece, a valuable Baroque work depicting the torture of St Margaret of Antioch, probably came here from Szentmargitbánya near Lake Neusiedl. The baptismal font was made there as well. There is a statue of Moses on the pulpit’s abat-voix, while on its balustrade, there is a relief of the sermon on the mount. The gilded statue of Mary is a copy of the statue of Mary and Jesus in Kismarton. Károly Sterbenz painted the images on the ceiling in the 1950s: the four Evangelists, St Elizabeth of Hungary, St Ladislaus, the Swiss St Nicholas of Flüe and the Italian St Maria Goretti. The stained-glass windows designed by Zoltán Zoltory immortalise the 20th-century Hungarian pontiffs, Blessed Vilmos Apor, Áron Márton and József Mindszenty.
The oldest mention of the village’s first church can be found in a charter from 1366. The Turkish wars and the Austrian incursions badly damaged the church; according to the 1713 canonica visitatio protocol, it was in a ruined, wretched state. The current church was built between 1801 and 1810, halted due to the difficulties caused by the wars with the French. Its plans were drawn up by Szombathely master builders, János György Anreith and János Ziegler. It’s a one-naved simple Baroque building with a central tower and north-south orientation. The steeple was added in 1870. Stone statues of Saint Joseph and St Michael carved by Ignác Ráday of Celldömölk adorn the facade’s recesses. The neo-Baroque high altar dates from 1912.
Count József Cziráky erected a memorial chapel in 1931 on the site where the last Hungarian king’s plane landed on 20 October 1921. The quote from the scriptures which can be seen above the entrance of the domed, circular building also refers to the unsuccessful coup by the king: In propria venit et sui eum non receperunt (He came unto his own, and his own received him not). Detailed information on the beatification of King Charles IV in 2004, illustrated with photos, is given on a sign in front of the avenue leading to the chapel.
Stone cross next to the church: A statue of Mary looking at the sky stands on a pedestal. This Classicist work was created in 1802. Holy Family statue: A Baroque creation from around 1750 stands on the north-western boundary of the village next to the road to Jánossomorja.Saint Sebastian, St Nicholas and St Rosalia statue group: Baroque work from around 1750 next to the Bágyogszovát junction Pietà statue: Late Baroque work from 1802, on the road to Maglóca, on the south-eastern edge of the village.Statue of St Florian: The statue of the patron saint who protects against floods and fires stands opposite the cemetery on a tall, ornate column, surrounded by a wrought iron fence.
The Baroque church built in 1754 was significantly expanded between 1939 and 1941 thanks to a donation from the Duke Eszterházy and was the hands-on work of the faithful. The old high altar was made around 1760, with only the tabernacle (sacrament) and two statues of archangels remaining today. Statues of Moses and Aaron sit on the balustrade of the Baroque pulpit. Between them is a relief depicting the Prophet Isiah with a child carrying a torch. The 18th-century baptismal font is an eight-sided ribbed basin on a high stand. There are 11 pairs of original, splendidly carved pews. “Wizscharkan” parish priest was engraved in German in 1777 among the floral and Rococo ornamentation of the pacifical (hand-cross) used during the services (which may refer to the location of the village next to marsh and water). The bell holder on the wall next to the sacristy dates from 1759, the oldest bell is inscribed with “Bécsújhely 1763”.
The Evangelical filial church of Bőny, subsidiary to the Nagybarát church, became independent in 1787, gaining its own congregation. The church, which still stands today, was built in 1791.The altarpiece depicts Jesus as he prays to the Father before his betrayal and capture.
Construction of the Baroque-style church with a tower and bell began in 1788. The land on which the church, the presbytery and the new school was built was owned by József Roboz. Memorial plaques were placed in the church in 1917 and then in 2017 to commemorate the 400th and 500th anniversary of the Reformation. A list of the names of heroes killed in World War I can be found on a board on the church’s wall.
Bőny’s Catholic church built by Lajos Schlichter, who also constructed the Győr Town Hall, was founded and consecrated by Bishop János Zalka on 14 August 1887, together with the new school and a cross.The Győr painter János Mandausz “academic painter and photographer” created the church’s altarpiece, which depicts Mary and the baby Jesus, who is holding a small cross in his hand. The painting was also done in 1887.
The Classicist-style church was built in 1836. Its interior is decorated with murals painted by Gábor Döbrentey in 1941-1942: the nave’s vaulting is a gallery of the Hungarian saints while the sanctuary’s vaulting depicts the birth of Jesus with the shepherds and the three kings paying homage. The high altar’s ornaments are the tabernacle next to two statues of angels, with a painting depicting the martyrs of St Cosmas and St Damian above it. A statue of the Virgin of Lourdes stands in the recess of the Mary altar. The pulpit was created around 1800 whereas the statue of Mary from Venice in 1760 (both are older than the church). 20th century works: Masa Feszty’s oil painting depicting St Rita and Jenő Pintér’s eye-catching carved wooden altar and lectern from Bogyoszló. The tower houses one of Hungary’s oldest bells (the “Sanctus bell”) cast in 1513. A composition created in 1808 stands in front of the church and consists of statue of the direful Mary together with the figures of St Wendel and St Florian.
The youngest church in the village is the Evangelical church. Its tower was erected in 1873 and is named the Gábor Tower after its former bell ringer. The part of the building designed to receive the congregation and for worship was completed in 1957 and was consecrated as a church the following year.