Austria / HungaryAustria / HungaryAustria / HungaryAustria / HungaryAustria / Hungary

Austria / Hungary

The section of the Iron Curtain Trail on the Hungarian and Austrian border begins at the triangle formed by the meeting point of the borders between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. The main attractions here are the cultural sights, such as the sculpture park with works by Austrian, Slovakian and Hungarian artists near Rajka. Then there is Bezenye, which is worth a visit for its multinational character; its three names – Hungarian, Croatian and German – testify to its eventful past.

Leaving this triangle, you cycle through charming country with a number of small towns of largely historical interest, such as Jánossomorja with its Baroque church and important altarpieces. A very unusual sight awaits you a few kilometres on in Fertőd: the Palace of Esterházy, once described as the Hungarian Versailles. A few kilometres further west you can visit Sopron, a place that played a major role in the Cold War. This is where the Iron Curtain was first pierced, on 27 June 1989 when the then Foreign Minister Alois Mock and his Hungarian counterpart Gyula Horn jointly cut through the border fence.  In August that year a border gate between Austria and Hungary was symbolically opened at the ‘Pan-European Picnic’.

Continuing south, you reach Hegykő, which is known for its thermal spas. You then follow the border, coming across places of historical interest where you may well want to stop off. Buildings such as the Baroque palace in Peresznye offers exciting insights into the colourful past of the region. Or you can take a trip to the beautiful nature reserve of Kőszeg that has inspired so many painters and composers. Retracing the past again, you can follow the Iron Curtain Trail to Bozsok to look at the Roman aqueduct. In Horvátlövő, a name that already suggests a large Croatian presence, you should pay particular attention to the war memorial in the centre of town, which commemorates the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, the victims of the two world wars and the 1956 revolution.

The journey continues southwards crossing over the border between Austria and Hungary on several occasions before eventually arriving in Szentgotthárd, the westernmost town of Hungary.  Situated on the Rába River, which is familiar both to fishermen and rafting enthusiasts, the town is home to much of Hungary's small Slovene ethnic minority.  From there the route travels through the Őrségi National Park, making its way to the border with Slovenia.

  • 134
    Length
    KM
  • 27/06/1989
    Horn and Mock
    together
    cut the Iron Curtain
  • 126 rooms
    in Eszterhaza Palace

 

  • Skulpturenpark Dreiländereck

    In remembrance of the fall of the iron curtain a memorial place showing sculptures of different international artists was established at the border triangle near Deutsch Jahndorf.

  • Jurisics castle, Hungary

    The centrepiece of Kőszeg's pretty historical centre, is Jurisics Castle. It is named after Croatian nobleman Nikola Jurišić. During the Little War in Hungary, Ottoman forces under the command of Suleiman the Magnificent laid siege to the castle in 1532. Jurišić and less than 1,000 men defended the castle for 25 days without any artillery. Originally built in the Gothic and Renaissance styles, in the 18th-century it was converted to the Baroque style. Plays are performed in the castle during the summer.

  • Schloss Halbturn

    Schloss Halbturn was built at the beginning of the 17th century and later adapted as a baroque palace. It is one of the most splendiferous baroque palaces in Burgenland.

  • Grenzerfahrungsweg, Austria

    The Grenzerfahrungsweg ('border discovery path') is a 5 km walking trail for young and old. At various experience-oriented stations along the route, visitors are introduced to the local area's fascinating history, culture and landscape. Attractions include a maze, a bunker/shelter from the second World War, a rebuilt trench, a watchtower and a floating bridge. The path leads to the Austro-Hungarian border, which can be crossed (over the Pinka River) and then there is an attractive walk back along the river bank.

  • realised
  • not_realised
  • planned

The stages