I guided several tours in the Northern part of Hungary this summer and Sopron has become my guest’s most popular destination, honestly, I can understand why. That’s the reason why this visit is part of my new tour to Győr and Sopron. The little town is situated near the border to Austria, a beautiful Baroque town rich in medieval architecture.

We refer to Sopron as to the most loyal Hungarian town because its citizens rejected the offer of Austrian citizenship in a referendum after WW1 when two thirds of the Hungarian territories got detached from our country. The anniversary of the referendum is celebrated every year.

During the tour we visit 13th century churches with Romanesque and Gothic structure, the Fire Tower, which is the town’s symbol since its construction in the 1600’s and apartment buildings from the 18th century. You’ll see where our great king Matthias was accomodated when he was besieging Vienna in 1482 and where Franz Liszt gave concerts in the 1800’s. I’ll also show you the ruins of the ancient Roman settlement, you can see the ruins of the town hall and the market from the Roman era.

 

 

We toured the Memento Park today, an amazing exhibition “in the shadow of Stalin’s boots”.

All the Communist monuments of Budapest were taken from our streets after the political changes as they reminded our people of the dictatorship, of the despotism of the Communist leaders. Instead of destroying them all – which idea was by the way supported by many of the Budapesters – some of these statues were installed in a thematical statue park in the 22nd district of Budapest. According to the conceptual designer, the “park is not about the statues or the sculptors but a critique of the ideology that used these statues as symbold of authority”.

I remember very well many os these statues standing on our streets, most of them had special nicknames and funny stories were also created about them. I’m happy to share these stories with you and tell you about the monumentality of the arts during the Communist era where the main objective was to create new idols to be adored by the proletariat. I’ll also tell you why you can see only the boots of Stalin, and I’ll introduce you to the ideology of the era which ended recently, some 28 years ago.