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.
The Ursuline nunnery was founded by a Viennese woman named Maria Niggl in 1746. This was the time when the first church was built to pay tribute to the Holy Cross which was also visited by Maria Theresa of Austria in 1773. The Neo-Gothic church designed by Nándor Handler was sanctified in 1864. The statue of Immaculate Conception can be found in the middle of its façade, while the statues of Saint Ursula and Saint Angela Merici can be seen in the compartments of the cornerstones. The Neo-Gothic main altar made of oak was given as a gift by Bishop János Simor. The altarpiece depicts the Immaculate Conception, the altar wings include the reliefs of Saint Ursula and Saint Augustine, as well as the small statues of Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus. The side altars were built to pay tribute to Saint Angela Merici and Saint Joseph, while the altarpieces were painted by Franz Josef Dobyaschofsky in 1864. The oratory of the nunnery hosts an exhibition of church art.
The Lutheran congregation firstly established in Hungary in 1565 has had a chapel at the place of the present-day church since 1674. The wooden chapel was rebuilt in 1676 following the great city fire, then it was extended in the 18th century. Since the stone church built in 1722 turned out to be small, the congregation requested the monarch in February 1781 to allow the construction of a larger church. The construction was started already under the Patent of Toleration, and Joseph II stipulated that the church to be built should have neither a bell nor a tower, and its gate could not face the street. The church was sanctified in 1784 during the priesthood of József Torkos. Due to the watery area the building stands on 182 alder stilts. One part of the town wall came down during the construction of the huge hall church divided into three naves by eight pillars, and the debris was taken to the no longer relevant ditch. Thus, the first, non-medieval exit of the city centre was created. The sanctification of the tower and the bells was in 1867. The church in Sopron having 2500 seats is the third largest Lutheran church of Hungary.
The church was caused to be built towards the end of the 12th century, and was later transformed several times by the Osl family (or the Premonstratensian Provost of Csorna which received lands from them). The splendid present-day main portal and southern aisle were built around 1230. Following the Mongol invasion it was rebuilt to already include Gothic details. For example, the sitting booths of the sanctuary were also made at this time. The renovation of the church which was demolished after the Turkish destruction was completed in the 1740s. The reconstruction between 1957 and 1960 preserved the Baroque vaults and tower but unravelled Roman and Gothic details where it was possible. The southern aisle and the small northern sacristy were reconstructed on the excavated medial supporting walls. The inside of the church stands out due to the beautiful harmony of Roman, Gothic, Baroque and Modern architecture and fitting. The nave is covered by a banded barrel vault. A medial confessional is seen on the northern wall. The southern wall includes Gothic sitting booths. The former altarpiece of the church was placed here which is probably the work of Jr. István Dorfmeister. There are 18th-century wooden statues in the sanctuary. The altar, the crucifix and the reliefs of the stations of the cross are the works of Ernő Szakál. The former cemetery surrounding the church was excavated. Carvings which cannot be returned to their original place can be viewed in the Lapidarium.
The chapel can be found in the vineyard near the village, on Agg Hill [Agg-hegy], the so-called Kotecs which offers a splendid view of the district up to Lake Neusiedl. The hill yields good grapes of Kövesd, and there is a stream at its foot.The origin of the chapel dates back several centuries; it was caused to be built by the Dongó family in the first half of the 18th century. The simple building having a barrel vault was transformed several times over the centuries, and a small gothic tower was erected on the façade. The latter renovations are particularly traceable.The chapel is only opened for the time of masses, thus, its inside can be viewed through a barred glass door.
A charter dated in 1430 mentions the church which was visited by the Lutheran bishop in 1631 and which was indicated in the chronicles again as a Catholic church in 1644. The church rebuilt in Greek Revival style in 1806 was named after the birth of the Blessed Virgin. The nave is covered by a dome vault with a flat cupola in the middle. The sanctuary is based on a thinner, while the choir is based on two gross pillars. The majority of the fitting is from the end of the 18th century. The main altar was carved in 1929. The altarpiece depicts the birth of Mary: Saint Anne is resting in bed in the background, Joachim and the kinsfolk with the infant are in the front, and the figure of God and an angel can be seen above the group. The Baroque statues of Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus stand on the two sides of the picture. The group of statues of the side altar with the cross depict Mary with Saint John and Magdalene. The balustrade of the pulpit shows Jesus at the wheel well with the Samaritan woman.
The first church known from charters was sanctified in 1379. Saint Andrew is the eponym for both that and the present-day Catholic church built in 1717. However, its feast is celebrated on the name day of the Virgin Mary. The change of patron saints is also traceable in the sanctuary. The original Saint Andrew picture of the Baroque altarpiece was placed on the side wall, and it was replaced by a rare portrayal of Mary. The change of pictures probably happened in 1905. The new altarpiece was painted at this time by Ottó Baditz, which includes the Virgin Mary wearing the Holy Crown of Hungary but our celestial patroness welcomes the baby Jesus greeting her with a huge bouquet not in the remote heights above but standing on the ground. There are statues of Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus standing next to the unique painting with a picture of the Trinity above between two bishop statues. A painting made in 1778 hangs on the side wall of the sanctuary depicting Mary and the Infant surrounded by putto, flowers, doves and quotes from the litany. The closing of the Latin prayers ask for the protection of Hungary. A prayer for the smaller parish can be read on the church bell which was cast in 1925: “Our Lord, may the infant Jesus watch over the village!”.
The church tower was built between 1902 and 1906. The larger of the two bells was smelt down in 1915. The new great bell cast after World War I was inaugurated on 12 August 1923. The following inscriptions can be read on the bell: “I declare death by mourning, and life by awakening: I am the resurrection and life.”The congregation decided to build a church on 23 May 1993. The designer of the church was Tamás Nagy, an Ybl Price-winning architect. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in the framework of the bishop’s visit and a love feast on 16 October 1994. The church was sanctified on 21 September 1997. A memorial park was established in the ca. 1200 square metres territory behind the church in 2017.
The three-towered church defining the landscape of the village is unique and rare, a county relic belonging to the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Depository; it is the centre of the local Catholic life. The nave of the Baroque church was caused to be built by Ferenc Zichy, the bishop of Győr, in 1767. Bishop János Zalka (whose coat of arms can be seen above the entrance) had the tower made higher in 1867 and the building extended by side naves at the edges of which two smaller towers were erected. There are gable wings adorned by semi-circular frieze between the corner towers and the 46 metres high middle tower. Two nameplates commemorating the 140 victims of World War I are placed on the façade. The carved benches, the elaborately decorated altarpiece and the pulpit adorned by the figure of Saint Paul are 18th-century pieces. The altarpiece depicting “the Finding of the Holy Cross” was made by Ludwig Beyfuss in 1855. The church was painted in 1928 by József Pandúr and Antal Borsa, while the ceiling picture is a piece by István Takács made in 1962-63.
According to legend, a poor man was gathering wood in the fields on a snowy day in January, praying to himself, when he heard an angel’s voice and saw a bright light. Following these he found a bloomed wild pear tree which was already hollow. They reported the wonderful event to the Pope according to whom “the pear tree is an example of Saint Anne, and its flowers symbolise the Virgin Mary”. A spring flowed from the foot of the tree which later fell down in a windstorm and this spring is used as a well even today. György Gitzy writes about the construction of the chapel which was erected in 1753 as follows: „the equipment, wood, lime, bricks necessary to the construction were carried out by teams of the least to the greatest of the village in their own hands, while they were praying and singing.” The chapel was extended in 1901 which was enriched by a glass window then depicting Saint Stephen and Mary, the Magna Domina Hungarorum. The devotional picture depicting Saint Anne, Saint Joachim and the young Virgin Mary are found in the sanctuary. The Neo-Gothic chapel which received a bell in 1920 and a Saint John statue in 1959 is a famous place of pilgrimage of the Rábaköz. The chapel hosts newer events in addition to the traditional Feast of Saint Anne and the May litanies (family days, county hunting day, the mass of Saint Hubertus).
Following the Mongol invasion, King Béla IV of Hungary donated the town to Tamás Poky commissionaire, who established a Premonstratensian Provost just outside of Tét in 1251 to pay tribute to Saint Stephen the martyr. A Neo-Tudor style castle using Gothic and Renaissance elements was built in 1905 on the ruins of the former monastery named Pokvár. Tét is the centre of the archpriest’s district. The town church took its current shape in 1818 after several reconstructions. A plaque on its wall proclaims that the poet and neologist Endre Pázmándi Horvát was a parish priest here between 1806 and 1829. The sanctuary of the late-Baroque building has two Holy Trinity pictures. The smaller one, the former altarpiece was placed on the side wall in the 1950s. Then it was replaced by the larger picture together with a new altarpiece. These latter ones were caused to be brought by the Jesuit priest named János Rozmán, who was driven away from Eger, to the church of his brother, a priest named Ferenc Rozmán in Tét. The newer paintings seen in the nave – Saint Stephen, stations of the cross – are the works of a sign painter in Győr, and the Saint Anne statue was made in the workshop of a female potter in Dőr. The baptismal font is the work of a local blacksmith.
The first known church of the municipality is mentioned in a charter dated in 1268. The construction of the current Baroque church having a surface area of 162 square metres started in 1658. The wooden tower fell down in 1906 due to a lightning. There have been 3 bells in the new brick tower since 1928. The “Queen of the World” statue depicting Mary sitting on the throne was placed in the light above the entrance of the sacristy in 1721. The Our Lady of Lourdes statue, as well as the Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary statues were donated to the church in 1891. The sanctuary’s All Saints’ altarpiece was made in 1799, and the organ was manufactured in 1914. The inside of the church took its current shape in the 1950s, when the present-day murals and stained glass windows were also created.
Archduke Friedrich and his wife, Isabella had the church built in 1897, thanking God that a boy (Alrecht) was born in the family at last – after eight girls born previously. The patron saints of the Austrian and Hungarian nations, the statues of Leopold and Stephen stand on the altar of the beautiful church built in Neo-Gothic style following the sample of the Votivkirche in Vienna. The happy parents did not forget about the patron saint of the male heir: therefore, the figure of Saint Albert the Great, a 13th-century scientist, monk and bishop, was painted on one of the glass windows.The municipality next to the Austrian border was totally ruined after World War II, at the time of the Iron Curtain. The church was renovated by the local enterprises 45 years later and it was sanctified in 1991 by Lajos Pápai, the diocesan bishop of Győr.The church is a county relic belonging to the Győr-Moson-Sopron County Depository.
The mass was held in the school – in default of a church – for the Hungarian settlers who arrived in 1938 from Csanád County. József Lőre appointed in 1943 to be the priest of the municipality known as Pünkösdvásár, then Őrcsütörtök, and finally as Várbalog started to build a church. He started to build the foundations of the church from the price of a motorcycle that he acquired from Austria. His descendants continued the construction which the residents were active participants of as volunteers and many persons gave donations and purchased tenders for construction.The church was built on the basis of the designs of Pál Horváth with the congregation’s cooperation and many years of work. The altar and the wrought iron entrance were designed by József Maros. The unusually large Neo-Roman church having a surface area of 524 square metres was sanctified by Norbert Legányi, the archabbot of Pannonhalma in October 1959.
The parliament of 1681 in the parish of Sopron allowed the Protestans to practise their religion only in two municipalities, Nemeskér and Vadosfa. From that moment on the Lutheran congregation went to church from Vásárosfalu to Vadosfa, and to Beled as of 1827. The Lutheran school in Vásárosfalu built in 1874 was used as a church on holidays. A belfry was also placed in front of the building. The inscription on the larger bell says: “Caused to be cast by the Lutheran congregation of Vásárosfalu by way of public donation to pay tribute to the Lutheran heroes who died in the world war.” The inscription on the smaller one says: „Erected by János Mátis and his wife Terézia Edvi in 1921 in memory of their son named Gyula who died bravely.” The Lutheran church of Vásárosfalu was built in the place of the demolished chapel on the basis of the designs of Dávid Józsa. The modern church was taken over by the congregation in 2019.
The municipality is first mentioned under the name Németfalu in a charter dated in 1381. Vásárosfalu was the property of the Osl family and the Premonstratensian Provost of Csorna in the Middle Ages.The small village had no church for many years, thus, the congregation could go to mass on Sundays to the churches of Pápóc beyond the River Rába, or to the nearby villages of Beled, Páli or Rábakecöl.The Catholic church having a surface area of 60 square metres was built in 1714 according to the schematism of the diocese, and already had a wooden ceiling in 1733. Its tower was built in 1907. Its 18th-century benches were alleged to be brought from Kenyeri. There are Baroque wooden statues standing next to the altarpiece of the sanctuary depicting the Holy Trinity: the Holy Apostle Paul with a sword and Peter with a key in his hand. The stone cross in front of the church was erected in 1880.
Vének is first mentioned in a charter issued by Saint Ladislaus in 1093. The village along the River Danube belongs to the diocese of Pannonhalma. The archabbey has been provided with fish from here for centuries. The fishing of beluga was particularly significant. The former church was built in 1733 and stood next to the cemetery. This was dismantled at the end of the 19th century. The current church was sanctified in 1906. Its altarpiece depicting the martyr Saint John of Nepomuk with angels was painted by László Patay. The altarpiece of the former church can also been seen on the wall. The organ is a protected monument. The former parish building and school next to the church are owned by the local government. The sacral traditions of the village include the house blessing, the church feast and the procession of the Holy Sacrament, as well as the pilgrimage to the icon of the Weeping Virgin Mary in Győr by walking along the Mosoni-Danube embankment in every March. The parental home of notable Jesuit journalist, Béla Bangha, which is indicated by a commemorative plaque, is found in the village. The visitors of the dead-end village are greeted by the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk standing just outside the village.
The church having one nave and a middle tower, containing Baroque and Greek Revival elements was caused to be built by the Esterházy family. The commemorative plaques listing the soldiers of Vitnyéd who died in the two world wars can be seen next to the entrance. Following the repair of damages caused by World War II the paintings in the inside of the church were renovated by Antal Borsa, an artist of Győr. The side altar was created by István Németh, a carpenter of Vitnyéd in 1996. The bottom side of this serves as a nativity scene at Christmas, and as the tomb of Jesus before Easter. The congregation had the original altarpiece depicting Saint John the Baptist renovated on the basis of old photos, and returned it to the sanctuary in 2007.There are four bells in the tower: the Saint Anthony bell (400 kg), the Saint John the Baptist bell (210 kg), the Queen of the Rosary bell (137 kg) and the passing-bell (50 kg). There are two statues in front of the church: Our Lady of the Pillar made in 1902 and a stone cross with Mary on its pedestal erected in 1881.Csermajor, “a tejesek Sárospatakja” [“the dairy farmers’ Sárospatak”] is found just outside Vitnyéd, along the road to Hövej. The Saint Emeric’s Chapel built on the territory of the hallowed school in 1936 was sanctified by István Breyer, the bishop of Győr, then the chapel extended in 1944 was blessed by his descendant, Bishop Vilmos Apor.
According to legend an old hen dealer was swept away by a sudden flood in the beginning of the 1600s. The villagers in punts hurrying to help him saved the dealer who had a statue erected on the place of getting ashore as gratitude and to pay tribute to Saint Anthony.The Hungarian translation of the Latin inscription on the statue says: pledged by Ferenc Boros in 1680 to be erected in honour of Anthony of Padua. A chapel was built here in 1928 from the estate of Kata Bors. The artesian well providing good drinking water found near the chapel which is standing in the parkland next to the crowded main road and bike path is a popular stop for thirsty bikers and drivers coming this way.
The church was built at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries with a tower in its middle. Its nave was later extended, in 1878, according to the text on the plaque above the entrance. Its facade is decorated with the coat-of-arms of the then Bishop of Győr, János Zalka, carved in stone and with the slogan “Fortiter, suaviter” (“Resolutely, gently”). The pulpit and side altar were made around 1780, the high altar around 1900. The side altar boasts a painting of St Florian, the high altar a painting of the new-born Mary and her parents, and the two stained-glass windows in the sanctuary have images of St Emeric and St Francis. The nave’s three ceiling frescoes were painted by Zoltán Závory. The organ was made in 1911 at the Rieger factory. The church’s oldest bell was cast by László Raczko in Vienna in 1535. The inscription says: “Honour your Lord, and the hour of His judgement may come.” Statues of the Lady of the Hungarians and the Holy Trinity stand on the columns in front of the church, erected in 1895 and 1890 respectively.
The church and the two chapels next to it are like a mother with two children. The Holy Cross Chapel was built in the 16th century, the Heroes’ Chapel in 1929. Bishop Ferenc Zichy had the church built between 1770 and 1775. The tower is 47 metres high and the church’s interior is unusually spacious. Behind the high altar, there is an oil painting of St Nicholas and four gilded wooden sculptures (St Peter, St Paul, St Augustine and St Martin). The side altar of St Francis and the Holy family is located in the curvature of the chancel arch. The baptismal font, dating from around 1780, stands on a red marble pedestal and has a statue depicting the baptism of Jesus on top. The entire interior renovation of the church was carried out between 1973 and 1975 by painter József Samodai, born in the village, who replaced the ruined frescoes with two separate seccos (one depicting the Transfiguration of our Lord, the other the Saints of the Árpád House worshipping in front of the Lady of the Hungarians). One of the church’s devotional objects is a relic of bone from Bishop St Nicholas.