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 church was built in 1870 and then rebuilt in 1981 when huge stained-glass windows replaced the former small openings. The altarpiece depicting St George was also replaced with a stained-glass image at that time. The frescoes on the walls and ceiling were also whitewashed then as there was insufficient money to restore them. One of the church’s ornament’s is the 17th-century Pietà statue. What is interesting about the metre-high raw wooden carving is that it depicts Our Lady of Sorrows as a skinny, broad-nosed peasant woman clothed as a nun. The statue was also displayed at the Hungary’s Millennium Ecclesiastical Exhibition in the Vatican. The statue of St George erected on the church square in 1998 was created by Jenő Kovács. The work was commissioned by the retired bishop Gáspár Ladocs, who was born in the village. In 2003, he also consecrated a small place of worship, which Mrs László Simon had erected at the end of the intersection of two roads at the end of her garden as thanks for her family surviving its sea of troubles and difficulties.
The chapel in the cemetery is described by the literature as an early medieval building. Its oldest parts are the Romanesque semi-circular sanctuary apse and the vaulted small windows. It was probably built in the 15th century with a Gothic style buttressed nave and a small sixsided tower with lancet windows. The chapel’s present form is the result of an 18th-century Baroque reconstruction. The coat-of-arms of the Solymossy family, the former owner of Nagylózs, can be found above the lancet door. There are several beautifully carved old (18th-19th-century) tombstones in the cemetery around the chapel.
The church is first mentioned in written sources from the 17th century and was named after the martyred St Lawrence when it was renovated in 1663. It has been rebuilt several times due to war damage, fire and deterioration. The walls of the lower levels of the tower are made of stone. This is the oldest part of the church, dating back to the 13th century. There is a curved gable on two sides of the tower, with four statues in its recesses. The coat-of-arms of the Viczay family and a piece of medieval fascia can be seen above the entrance. The baptismal font is an 18th-century work, with a group of statues depicting the baptism of Jesus on its cover. The high altar and its statues of St James and St John came from St Michael’s Church in Sopron. The old altarpiece, on the other hand, ended up in Sopron, and the current image of St Lawrence was painted by Jenő Steiner around 1900. The sacristy was built on both sides of the sanctuary as well as one of the oratorios, the “Gentlemen’s Sacristy”. Joined to the southern wall of the nave is a chapel with a flat ceiling, above which is the other oratory, the “Craftsmen’s Choir”. The gallery with surbased spherical vaulting is supported by two Tuscan columns.
In the Middle Ages, there were several villages on the site of today’s Nagyszentjános. These were destroyed by the Turks and then farms were established on the ruins of the former villages. One of the farms, Nagyszentjános, became a stop on the Budapest to Győr railway. The railway brought it back to life: a distillery and siding were built, and then workers’ houses were built in succession. The increasingly populated settlement became an independent municipality in 1990. In the absence of a church, its inhabitants gathered in one of the classrooms of the school for mass, called by a bell cast in 1938. The modern church was completed in 1999 with German support, as a result of Father Paul Kaiser’s fundraising efforts. The building, constructed based on the plans of Sándor Horváth, was consecrated by the Archbishop of Paderborn and Bishop Lajos Pápai in honour of St Liborius and St John. The relics of Bishop Liborius, who lived in 4th century Gallia, have been preserved in Paderborn Cathedral since 836. Liborius has been the patron saint of the German diocese for nearly 1,200 years and, since 1999 (together with John the Apostle), the patron saint of Nagyszentjános too. Wooden sculptures of the two patron saints stand on either side of thesanctuary. The interior is spacious and bright, surrounded by white walls, wooden at the top and stone at the bottom, and with numerous windows. The tabernacle, altar and cross, made from fine materials, are in the centre, so there is nothing else to distract your attention. The foyer of the modern building also boasts traditional religious works (painting of the Good Shepherd, statue of Mary).
In 1681, Parliament permitted Protestants to practice their religion in only two settlements in the county of Sopron: Nemeskér and Vadosfa.The Nemeskér Evangelical church was erected in 1732; its tower was added in 1862. The wooden joists of its timber frame and the crenelated wooden gallery are an outstanding monument to carpentry. Parts of the unique, richly carved late Renaissance pulpit altar were made in the mid-17th century. The pulpit railing boasts carved figures of the four Evangelists and there are carved acanthus leaves with cherub heads on the support column. The Baroque altar gained its present form after the 18th-century reconstruction. The altarpiece depicts the Last Supper. According to its multilingual inscription, the baptismal font was made in 1733-34.
The first half of the church was erected by the Márcfalu Augustinian monks after they received land in 1358 on the outskirts of Nemeskér. The building was used by the Evangelical congregation from the mid-16th century until 1732. Catholic worshippers expanded the church when they regained it: the nave was extended, and a new sanctuary was added. There is a chronogram in Latin running along the exterior wall, commemorating the expansion works on the church. Specific letters in this chronogram, in a different style and colour, can be interpreted as numerals and stand for the date of the church’s expansion, 1760. The 18thcentury high altar image of St Ladislaus depicts the knight king bringing forth water. The statues of St Stephen and St Emeric next to the picture are valuable Baroque works. The painting of the Three Kings on the north wall may have been the old altarpiece. Beneath the canopy on the south wall, there is a statue of Mary, with a sceptre in her hand and the baby Jesus on her arm; they are both wearing a crown. There is a very old organ in the choir. A secco left from the Evangelical period, depicting Moses holding stone tablets, was found underneath the plaster of the wall in front of the choir. Below this, there is a marble slab in Latin from 1759, which describes the process and protagonists in the recatholisation of Nemeskér.
The village was already mentioned in the charter of the Szentmárton Benedictine Order from 1001 as the village of the abbeys. Its parish was first mentioned in written sources in 1362. The foundation stone of the church dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was laid by the abbot on 6 June 1749. The work was completed on 19 June 1750. This simple, timberframed building without a tower stood on the site of the current church’s transept. Its sanctuary was where today’s sacristy stands, where fragments of old frescoes can still be seen. The current church was built and consecrated in 1872. The high alter and the early Baroque pulpit arrived in Nyalka at the same time as the Storno renovation of the Pannonhalma monastery. The altar of St Benedict is the work of the Adami stone carving dynasty, who were active around Como. The high altarpiece was created by Austrian painter Carl Gutsch in 1872. The body of the pulpit is separated by twisted columns and features statues of the four apostles and Christ in shell-shaped recesses. The statue of St Michael defeating the dragon on the pulpit’s crown is an excellent sculptural work. The former ornate gate of the Pannonhalma Basilica, Porta Speciosa, also found its way here. This gilded, panelled door with two brown and black wings, through which you can enter the sacristy from the main nave, is excellent carpentry work from the first quarter of the 18th century.
Nyalka-Kishegy was the wine-growing estate of the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, which is crossed by the Way of St James leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.There is an ecumenical memorial column carved from oak at this point in the Hungarian stretch of the “El Camino” pilgrimage way. The greetings and symbols of the Catholic, Reformed, Evangelical and Unitarian denominations, as well as the symbol of the pilgrimage way of St James and the tree of life motif were created by Ferenc and Csilla Gál-Tóth. “Set off, so that you can arrive”, reads the pilgrims’ slogan on the 500kg column, blessed and consecrated by representatives of the four churches on 31 May 2013.
János Kanizsay, Archbishop of Esztergom, had a chapel built in the village in 1390 in honour of the Blessed Virgin. The chapel was destroyed and rebuilt several times, and in 1690, gained a devotional statue carved from linden wood in 1606 from Eisenstadt as a donation from Pál Esterházy. The 95 cm-high statue depicts Mary with the baby Jesus on her right arm and a royal mace in her left hand. Both are wearing gilded silver crowns on their heads. The statue bears a Latin inscription about the donation. The Osli chapel became a pilgrimage site for the Rábaköz and was expanded into a church between 1747 and 1766. Its tower was increased in height in 1847. Its facade features semi-circular recesses with statues of St Stephen and St Ladislaus brought in 1863 from the Cathedral of Győr as a donation from Bishop János Simor. The most beautiful work in the church’s interior is the Rococo high altar with a statue of the Smiling Madonna at its centre. The sanctuary’s ceiling boasts a fresco depicting the Assumption of Mary. The other frescoes were created by master painters Károly Hohenegger from Sopron and József Pandúr from Győr, in 1856 and 1938 respectively. Memories of prayers answered and miraculous healings are preserved in votive objects. The wall next to the entrance has been adorned with the Mosaic of Divine Mercy since 2009.Next to the church, you can see the Calvary, built in 1858 above the former cemetery, with a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows dating from the beginning of the 18th century.
One of the village’s oldest sacral monuments still stood to the east of the present cemetery at the end of the 18th century before being moved to the road leading to Hanság. The statue of Mary holding the baby Jesus in her arms stands on a tall pillar. The statue is associated with the tradition of many miraculous healings. The worn Latin inscription (“Salus Infirmorum, Ora pro nobis!”) has been replaced with a Hungarian text engraved in the marble plaque: Our Lady, Health of the Sick, Pray for Us!”.Not far from this statue, at the junction of Hanyi Street and Acsalagi Street, is the village’s newest monument. The wooden statue does not stand here by chance. In 1956, hundreds of people were fleeing towards the Austrian border along this road to Hanság. They are remembered by Gyula Csiszár’s work, created in 2006, which shows a man, woman and child: the mother holding the child is looking towards home, while the father is already looking at the border and the long, difficult journey ahead of them.
The church was built in 1789 in Baroque style. The village’s patron at that time was Count Károly Khun-Héderváry. An earlier origin is probable, given that the church was already mentioned in the 1698 church attendance records. The building has been renovated several times over the years and was rebuilt due to the damage caused by the 1849 fire. The “Heroes’ bell” was cast and consecrated in 1934. It bears the name of the inhabitants of Öttevény who died in the great wars. In 1992, the congregation replaced one of the two bells that had been taken away in WWII in honour of the Lady of the Hungarians. The sanctuary wall fresco depicts John the Baptist as a child, with his elderly parents Zechariah and Elisabeth. The side altar is adorned with beautiful Baroque works, a painting depicting the Holy Family and a gilded wooden statue of the Evangelists Luke and Mark. The church has other precious treasures, such as the relic holder containing a piece of the skull bone of King St Ladislaus, the statue of St Anne and the Mother of Sorrows statue.
The villages of Nagypáli and Kispáli belonged under the patronship of the Pápoc Augustine Provostry, founded in 1365. As a result of the Rába’s frequent floods, Kispáli became depopulated over time. The current church was built in 1642 at the behest of Provost Matthias Nyeki Weöres on the site of the wooden church already standing in Nagypáli. It was burned and looted by the Turks in 1683. Renovated in 1693, the tower was added by Pápoc Provost Kristóf Schogg in 1770. The Pope’s proclaimed place of pilgrimage was enlarged in 1804 with side aisles at the expense of Provost Antal Majláth. The high altarpiece of the Assumption of Mary, created at that time, is the work of Viennese artist Josef Schied. The sanctuary’s vaulting features a fresco of the Holy Trinity, while the side altars feature images of St Ladislaus and Mary of Lourdes. The church’s most valuable painting is a scene from the life of St John of Alexandria.(The relic of the Patriarch of Alexandria, who lived at the turn of the 6th and 7th centuries and is famous for his gifts, was preserved in the Royal Chapel of Buda during the reign of Matthias Corvinus. From there, they were taken to the Pauline Monastery of Máriavölgy and finally to Bratislava, to the coronation capital’s church of St Martin, where the relic is still held in high regard.)
The Calvaria next to the church was built in 1696 on the site of the former wooden church sanctuary.There is a crucifix and a stone statue of Mary and St John standing in front of the open, horseshoe-shaped wall. It is one of the earliest such monuments in Hungary and served as a model for 18th-century Hungarian Calvarias. Two of the village’s statues in the public space erected in 1690 are the Pietà at the Vág junction and the “Christ on the Mount of Olives” behind the church.Other sacral public works include the Pusztakút wooden cross (1877), the wooden cross besides Vadosfai Road (1886), the American cross (1904), the Holy Trinity statue (1931) and the marble cross in front of the church.
Founded in 996 by Prince Géza on Mons Sacer Pannoniae with its rights and privileges then confirmed by his son King Stephen in 1002, the Pannonhalma Archabbey is a living witness of European and Hungarian culture, a haven of Christianity and culture and a watch post for love and service. Its architectural, cultural and social heritage continues to teach, inspire and amaze even after a thousand years, as it opens its doors wide to ensure visitors get the most from its values. In 1996, UNESCO declared the then thousand-year-old abbey and its surroundings a World Heritage Site.Pannonhalma, Chapel of Our LadyConstruction of the Chapel of Our Lady, with its crypt below, was begun by Archduke Celesztin Göncz in 1714. He was the first to be buried here, in the final resting place of the monks. The chapel was originally a parish church for non-Hungarian speakers living near the abbey.
1. Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin MaryThe church’s foundations date from the 12th-13th century. There was a medieval cemetery around it. Abbot Benedict Sajghó had the church renovated in 1734 and then it was rebuilt in 1879 with the support of Abbot Krizostom Kreus.2. Everyone’s Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross was opened in autumn 2014 in the park next to the parish church, behind the statue of St Martin. György Horváth, a local ceramic artist and several enthusiastic citizens were involved in the construction of the privately established Way of the Cross.3. Holocaust Memorial and SynagogueThe memorial was erected by the Karzat Cultural Centre Foundation in 2004 to commemorate the Jews who were deported from the town and region during World War II. The work of sculptor György Chesslay evokes the gate of the Bechram Synagogue. Behind it is an orthodox synagogue, built at the end of the 19th century, constructed from the donations of Jewish families living in the town and the region at that time.4. CemeteryThere is a large cross erected in the centre of the cemetery, in use since 1759, to commemorate deceased priests and nuns. The cemetery was also called “Kati Jakab’s Garden” by the beggar (singer and storyteller) living there in the early 1910s. She is also mentioned in a novella by the writer Sándor Dallos, born in Pannonhalma. The southern part of the area is already connected to the Jewish cemetery.5. Papal Memorial CrossA cross was erected as a private initiative on the tenth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Pannonhalma in 1996. The Pándzsa Club Association later replaced it with a new cross, which has since also become a pilgrimage site.
According to a deed from 1330, the church of St Emeric, built by the landowner Alexander Köcski or the king, stood on a hill near the village. The church, maintained by the Pannonhalma Abbey, was destroyed by Turkish troops in 1683. At the entrance of today’s church, a marble plaque states: “This building of the Almighty God, dedicated to the Apostle of St Andrew, was built by János Méhrkerti Milkovics in 1753, while the tower was built in 1779 at the behest of Pápácz Provost Kristóf Schogg.”The church is 20 metres long and 7 metres wide, the sanctuary has brick vaulting, while the nave has a flat ceiling. The images of the stained-glass windows were created by glass artist József Palka.The Baroque high altar is a masterpiece in wood. Next to the sanctuary is a Rococo statue of two kneeling angels, while above the tabernacle, there is a statue of the Lamb of God. The high altarpiece depicts St Andrew the Apostle. One of the side altars is adorned with an image of the Immaculate Virgin with statues of St Barbara and St Catherine next to it. The image of St Joseph on the other side altar is “guarded” by statues of St Stephen and St Ladislaus. The pulpit features statues of St Paul the Apostle and the four evangelists. The ceiling frescoes were created by József Pandur in 1930.
According to the marble plaque above the entrance, “This holy building was built in 1784 to the glory of God”. The masonry pulpit and the carved sounding board above it were made in 1790.The marble plaque below the tower lists the names of the Reformed pastors who have served in Pázmándfalu. Among them is the name of Bálint Csergő Kocsi, a preacher who suffered as a galley slave, who had previously taught in the Debrecen, Munkács and Pápa schools.In 1917 and 2017, the church laid a commemorative plaque to commemorate the 400 and 500-year anniversaries of the start of the Reformation.
The medieval church and the village were destroyed by the Turks. In 1735, Adolf Groll, Bishop of Győr, had a new church built in Baroque style. There are statues of St Adalbert and St John of Nepomuk next to the high altar. Bishop Ferenc Zichy had the tower built in 1762, while Bishop János Zalka had the church enlarged in 1875. His gift was the two statues of angels next to the tabernacle and the statue of the Easter lamb as well as the side altar of the birth of Jesus brought here from Sopron. The high altarpiece from the 1850s shows the Blessed Virgin’s assumption into heaven. The church was restored in 1935 by Bishop István Breyer. At this time, József Pandur painted the frescoes on the vaulting: the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, St Stephen’s Offering of the Crown and the worship of Hungarian saints in front of the Assumption. The stained-glass windows were also made by glass painter József Palka at this time. The organ purchased in Vienna in 1875 was also renovated then. The choir balustrade is decorated with the coat-of-arms of bishops Groll, Zalka and Breyer.
The church and the tower were built in 1828 and 1881, respectively. The inscription on the memorial above the entrance: „This holy building was renewed in the year 1888.” The number of seats are 100-100 on both the ground floor and the gallery. The marble-top of the Lord’s table is held by wrought-iron table legs. The baptismal font was made of red marble. The church was struck by lightning in 1982 and the tower burnt down. The benches were replaced, the pulpit and the staircase to the gallery were reconstructed. The parochial sacred vessels were brought back this time from Tata. The congregation of just over 300 people donated the small bell to the scattered congregation of the nearby municipality of Töltéstava. The two bells left in the tower weighing 247 and 99 kg were cast in Sopron by Frigyes Seltenhofer. The inscription on the larger bell says: „In thee do we put our trust from the beginning. Had cast by the subsidiary church of Pér in the year of the Lord 1935.” The inscription on the smaller bell says: „Come, let is worship, bow down and let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Had cast by the congregation of Pér in 1926.”
Until the beginning of the 19th century only a wooden cross stood on the hill next to the village. The foundations of the calvary were laid on 17 October 1844. Three wooden crosses were mounted on the top of the hill at this time, on the northern side of which seven brick structure stations of the cross with painted icons were built. The wooden crosses were later replaced by stone crosses. The Mother of Sorrows Chapel behind them was sanctified on 08 September 1867. The bell which was cast in Győr was taken from its 12 metres high tower during the first world war. The building strengthened by sidewalls in 1887 and has been renovated several times since then. In 1903, Ágnes Walker, an artist from Győr, made oil paintings on tin for the stations. The Roman Catholic Parish of Pér renovated the chapel, the crosses and the stations in 2010.