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.
During the cholera epidemic of 1831, the villagers turned to St Anthony of Padua, asking for intercession, and began building a new votive chapel. According to convention, as the walls of the chapel rose, the epidemic eased. The current chapel was built instead of the old one in 1901, when St Anthony was asked to intercede in an outbreak of rinderpest. The Kunsziget inhabitants constantly and faithfully observe the votive holiday associated with St Anthony. The eight-day-long prayer period before the holiday reinforces the bond between the villagers and their descendants. The 30-m2 votive chapel's building is owned by the municipality. The chapel's entrance is decorated for the holiday with garlands of flowers, which are made with special care; this task is passed down from mother to daughter.
The village's old parish church probably stood on the cemetery hill. It was recorded in 1616 that the city of Sopron, by virtue of its patronage, permitted both denominations to attend Mass in St Martin's Church. Church visit records from the 17th century mention that pilgrims came to Mary's statue on important holy days and that there were three altars in the church. The parish history reports the cemetery hill church was demolished in 1795 and rebuilt in the centre of the village, where it still stands today. The single-naved, Classicist-style church with a floor space of just 142 m2 boasts an altar with a statue of Bishop St Martin. Behind it, on the sanctuary wall, there is a painting with scenes from the life of St Martin. The nave's fresco depicts the Visitation of Our Lady Church on the outskirts of the village and its devotional statue.
The young daughter of Chief Justice Fernenc Nádasdy fell seriously ill. Elenora made a vow that if she recovered, she would retreat to a convent. However, after she recovered, her parents still gave her hand in marriage. There was a storm on the wedding day and the bride was killed by a bolt of lightning. Her shaken father erected a stone chapel in 1670 in memory of his daughter and above her grave, to replace the wooden chapel. The building was expanded in the middle of the 18th century to accommodate pilgrims; this was commissioned by Count Antal Széchény and overseen by parish priest Pál Behofsich. The pilgrimage church is Baroque both inside and out, greeting visitors with a steepleless tower and facade adorned with statues of the four evangelists. There is a statue of the Black Madonna, lavishly dressed and crowned. Next to it, there are statues of her parents (Anne and Joachim) as well as of the Apostles Peter and John. The upper group of statues on the high altar refers to the name of the church: Mary's visit to Elizabeth. The Baroque organ was moved from Sopronbánfalva to the Kóphaza church. The 18th-century "Three Kings" votive image evokes the once flourishing cult of the pilgrimage site. The painting depicts the celestial guardians of travellers and pilgrims along with a devotional statue and a family praying for healing.
The Evangelists of Kisfalud built their bell tower, which housed two bells, in 1848. The filial church, comprised of around 250 souls, built a church onto the old tower in 1997. The church, whitewashed on the outside, brick-clad on the inside, was built based on the designs of the Ybl prize winner, Béla Pazár. István Molnár, from neighbouring Mihályi, donated a carved Luther rose to the church in 2013, whereas the baptismal font was completed in 2014.
The canon-priest György Farkas had the present church built in 1777 to replace the old thatched wooden church. The Szombathely canon János Dugovits had the tower with its clock and bells erected in 1789. The Baroque altar and pulpit were made around 1780. The altarpiece depicts the scene of the Annunciation (Angel Gabriel and the Virgin of Nazareth), while the pulpit features a statue of the Good Shepherd and a relief depicting the host and chalice and an anchor. The Statue of Mary holding the child Jesus in her arms is also a Baroque work. The front of the free-standing limestone altar is embellished with a relief of the feeding of the 5,000, while the ambo is decorated with a cross and dove relief. Glass images of St Stephen and St Elisabeth can be seen in the windows. After his retirement, Géza Szüllő, one of the leaders of the Hungarians living in the former Upper Hungary (now Slovakia) between the two world wars, lived in Kisfalud and lies at rest in the village's cemetery; he left his house to the parish. There is a stone cross from 1816 in front of the church and a statue of Mary in its churchyard.
The village, attached to Kisbajcs in 1927, had a small chapel in the Danube's floodplain, which was often submerged by the river flooding. The inhabitants of Szőgye started building their new church in 2014, in a safe place now, while the sanctuary and the nave were furnished in 2015. The church, built and furnished based on the plans of Attila Pongrácz and István Horváth, was consecrated in 2016 and boasts a modern triptych as its altarpiece. The middle part of Erzsébet Udvardy's work depicts Pope John Paul II kneeling in front of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, while the two side pictures depict St Cyril and St Methodius.
The village's church was built in 1958 on the initiative of parish priest Sándor Markos, on the site of the old bell tower in an oak grove. The church's pews, which was built within one year by the donations and cooperation of the worshippers, were made from wood from the grove. The church's altarpiece, framed by simple, unadorned surfaces both inside and out, depicts Mary holding the baby Jesus in her lap as she hands the rosary to St Dominic and St Catherine of Siena. The public sacral sights of Kisbajcs include the Mary statue niche standing between two chestnut trees on the banks of the Kenderáztató (Retting pond) and the Jókai Street picture column, with a crucifix in its recess. The memorial park and rest area established near the cemetery in 2010 bears the name of the parish priest who had the church built.
The parish decided to build the church in 1987, on the occasion of the Our Lady of Hungarians celebration. The foundation stone was laid in June 1989. The modern church, designed by György Jáky, architect and painter, was built between 1989 and 1991. The church was consecrated in September 1991 by the diocesan bishop of Győr.The church is crescent-shaped, with a separate internal chapel and a main hall with an area of 250 m2. The pews, the way of the cross and the stained-glass windows are the work of István Perlaki, a glass-staining artist. The church received two new bells in 1998 as a gift from the Franciscan Father Barnabás Kiss-György.
Istók, the brother of Örzse Kovács, one of the Esterházy estate's day-labourer, was kicked to death by a horse. While Örzse was praying for his brother in bed at night, St Francis appeared to him and urged him to build a church and monastery for the Franciscan fathers at the scene of the accident. Örzse collected pennies for decades, many supported her, and she finally had enough to make her dream reality.The Marian Franciscan monks, named after the Virgin Mary, settled in Kapuvár in 1941 and consecrated their church a year later. The marble high altar was erected by János Nagy and his wife in memory of their sons who died heroically in World War II. The statue above the altar depicts St Francis and Jesus, who is bending down and embracing him. Reminiscent of Italian churches, the church is adorned with frescoes by Zoltán Závory as well as goldsmith Bandi Schima's work (the tabernacle door, the frames for the relics of St George and St John). The relief in memory of the two heroic dead of the Kapuvár monastery, Flavian Bali and Edgár Gerendás, is the work of Rózsi Izbégi Villám.
The first church in the Garta district of the town was built in 1710 from wood in honour of the martyrs St Fabian and St Sebastian. There was a bell tower with two small bells next to the small stone church built in 1742. The bell tower was demolished, and a tower was erected in front of the church. The high altarpiece depicts Sebastian and Catherine, while the small altar's painting depicts Our Lady of Sorrows.The community of Garta decided to build a new church in 1900. The plans were drawn up by Mihály Bánszky, who also supervised the construction; this was supported with a significant amount of money from Duke Miklós Eszterházy. The works were mostly carried out by craftsmen from Garta. The neo-Gothic church, consecrated in 1907 by diocesan bishop of Győr, György Széchenyi can seat 1,6000 people, has a floor area of 372 m2 and a 47-metre-high tower. The altars and the pulpit were created in Róbert Lewis's Szombathely workshop. The church, richly decorated with beautiful station of the cross pictures, statues and paintings, also boasts a stone statue of Christ created by Garta-born Lajos Lukácsi.
The small Baroque church was built in 1718 after the previous castle chapel and wooden church. István Hany, a child found in the Hanság (a bogland), who had grown up in the wild, was baptised here in 1749. The central part of today's church was built in 1808 in neo-Classical style. After a fire in 1843, it was extended with two side-aisles, its coffered ceiling was replaced by huge domes and its tower was increased in height. The eclectic building thus became one of the most beautiful and largest churches in the Rábazöz. The high altarpiece depicting St Anne, Joachim and Mary, created in Vienna in 1821, is the work of Carol Petrus Goebel. The sanctuary wall fresco, the work of Gyula Thury, shows St Stephen offering the crown to Mary. The church's other frescoes are the works of Kózsef Samodai and Zoltán Závory. An angelic choir in Kapuvár folk costume is painted on the ceiling of the organ gallery. The church boasts a Lourdes cave in the right-hand nave and a sarcophagus altar in the left-hand nave, which was completed in 1989.
The Nádorváros Calvary Hill was once a Celtic and later a Roman cemetery. In the 12th-13th century, the provostry church and captiular headquarters named after St Adalbert stood here. These were destroyed during the 16th-century Turkish raids. In the 17th century, the military authority erected a scaffold here. The Jesuits built the Calvary in the early 18th century. A wide stone staircase leads up the hill to the crosses of the crucified Christ and the two rogues. Baroque chapels designed by Martin Wittwer Athanasius stand at the foot of the Calvary. The seven stations along Calvary Street depicting the sufferings of Jesus were made in 1722.
The “Society for Sick and Dying Servants”, founded by St Camillus, was in service in the Győr hospital from 1761. The blessed activities of the Camillian fathers was ended by Joseph II’s dissolution of the monastic orders. However, their church in Nádorváros remained, with the order’s stone coat-of-arms on its facade. The altar structure filling the back wall of the sanctuary features 15 gilded wooden sculptures. The central figures of the statue group are the Virgin Mary dressed in the sun above and the kings St Stephen and St Ladislaus on the two sides. The high altarpiece depicting the divine experience of St Camillus was painted by Antonio Capacci of Florence in 1780. Two side altars adorn the nave. The relief’s scene on the pulpit’s balustrade is related to the movement of the statue figure standing on its sounding board: raising the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, Moses prepares to throw them among the people who have lowered themselves to worship the golden calf. In the rectory next to the church, you can see an exact copy of Jesus’s burial shroud, which is preserved in Turin.
Following the recapture of the Győr castle from the Turks (1598), the fleeing Serbs were allowed to settle in Újváros. There was already a church standing on the site of today’s church in 1703; this was converted in 1727 by the Serbian community into an orthodox church with a variety of stylistic features. As the Serbian population slowly “disappeared” from the city, the Serbian church stood alone for a long time. In 1997, the Serbian Orthodox Church gave the restored church together with its rectory building to the Győr Greek Catholic Congregation for permanent use. One special feature of the buttressed church is its Late-Baroque-framed iconostasis and Late-Baroque-style row of pews. The iconostasis, together with its furniture, is a Late-Baroque work in which the Orthodox way of expression is uniquely blended with contemporary Central and Western European styles. The onion-domed tower stands in front of the beautifully arched facade. Instead of the former Baroque gate, the scheme-arched gate opening is filled with a modern, double-leaf iron gate. Old Serbian gravestones can be seen in the churchyard.
The Győr Reformed congregation bought the Újváros “Red Ox” inn in 1784 and then measured out the place where that year they built their towerless church opening onto a courtyard. The congregation used this church until the construction of the current church. The present rectory was completed on the site of the inn in 1863. In 1901, the consistory decided to establish a new church. The archaic, neo-Gothic church was built in 1905-1906 based on the plans of Károly Csányi (modelled on the Reformed church in Brasov, since demolished). The Star of Bethlehem, which leads to Jesus, on the tower’s needle-pointed steeple can be seen from afar. The rooster on the facade warns that nobody should deny Christ like Peter did. The church’s interior furnishings are uniform, and the monumental hall space is enriched with Gothic decoration. The Moses chair was made by Győr sculptor Martin Kelemen.
The eclectic-style synagogue was built by the neologist Israelite congregation. The representative building, completed in 1870 in the spirit of historicism and Art Nouveau based on the plans of Pest architect Károly Benkó, served as a model for the construction of synagogues in other cities, a worthy antetype for high-capacity synagogues well-suited to the metropolitan environment. The synagogue’s octagonal interior, covered with a dome, complete with circular balconies, offers stunning views. It was rebuilt in 1926-27: by transforming the eastern staircases, a winter prayer hall was created The building, restored in 2006, has wonderful acoustics and is also the venue for the museum’s permanent exhibition and cultural events. Amongst other things, here you can see the János Vasilescu (1923-2006) collection of post-World War II Hungarian fine art.
The church was built in 1784-85 in a closed courtyard and without a tower. The canopies protecting the entrances were added to the facade later. The filigree round-arched, wrought-iron supports bear ornate iron tops similar to drapery. The main ornament of the single-roomed church with an internal gallery is the altar combined with a carved late Baroque pulpit. The large altarpiece was painted by Petőfi’s friend, Soma Orlay Petrich. In front of the altar is a red sandstone baptismal font from 1817 with a bronze statue group depicting Jesus’s baptism on its cover. The gallery can be accessed via curved stairs in the four corners of the room. The “Caesar-type” organ was built in 1926. The gilded-white facade with its straight, semi-circular closure of the previous instrument built in 1791 was retained. The enormous organ with modern sound therefore fits in harmoniously with the image of the “old church”.
The Carmelite monks arrived in Győr in 1697. Their church was built between 1721 and 1725 according to the plans of their lay brother Martin Witwer of Athanasius. The altars and statues were created by the Carmelite brother Dominic. The monastery was completed in 1732. Lying behind the church’s Italianate facade is a uniquely beautiful, elliptical interior topped with a dome and a square sanctuary. Martino Altomonte painted the high altarpiece with King St Stephen and Prince St Emeric paying homage before the Virgin Mary as well as the paintings of the side altars – the death of St Joseph, the martyrdom of St John of Nepomuk, the heart wound of St Theresa and the transfiguration of St John the Baptist. The earliest part of the building complex, completed in 1718, is a copy of the famous Loreto Chapel, the house of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Above this altar stands a statue of the Saracen Madonna, created in 1717, with the child Jesus in her arms (both their faces are carved from black ebony and they have crowns on their heads). Inside the tiny chapel on its facade is a snow-white Baroque work known as the “Foam Mary”.
Jesuits settled in the city in 1627 and built a church between 1634 and 1641 modelled on Rome’s Church of Il Gesù. The monastery and school were also completed in 1667. The church’s interior is early Baroque in style. The high altarpiece depicting the transfiguration of St Ignatius as well as the ceiling frescoes of the sanctuary and nave (Ascension of the Spirit of St Ignatius and the Annunciation) were painted by prominent Viennese artist Paul Troger and two of his fellow artists. The beautiful Baroque pulpit was made in 1749 and the organ-case in 1755. There is an angel concert fresco above the organ. A shell pattern dominates the decoration of the richly carved pews and doors. There are three chapels on each side of the nave. Their furnishings are older than those of the main nave. The Way of the Cross Chapel which opens from the sanctuary features reliefs by Mária Pátzay created in 1980. The Benedictines used the building complex from 1802 after the dissolution of the Jesuit Order.
The statue is one of Győr’s most beautiful Baroque monuments. The lamb sitting on a seven-sealed book above the Ark of the Covenant symbolising the Old Testament represents Jesus, the author of the New Testament. The official story is that a soldier suspected of bigamy and using false names fled to a Jesuit monastery in 1729. Soldiers surrounded the monastery. The monks tried to transfer the fugitive to safety in the bishop’s castle in order to end the blockade. However, the soldier dressed as a ministrant at a Corpus Christi procession was recognised by his colleagues, and the armed soldiers disrupted the procession. During the scuffle, the ostensory fell from the priest’s hands and broke. The monument was erected in 1731 by King Charles III to atone for the offence to the Eucharist.