Region: Sopron Mountains and the Fertő Cultural Landscape
Duration: 2 days
Bicycle type: touring bike
The start of our cycle tour, which takes us along forest paths and roads, is the railway station of Sopron. As such, we have the chance to take a look at the unique inner city and the Fire Tower, its symbol. Once a castle tower, there are 119 steps leading to the balcony, which offers a bird's eye view to admire the town’s roofs and the forests of the Sopron Mountains.
We leave the city center towards Sopronbánfalva, on an ever narrowing, low-traffic asphalt road, after which we reach a valley enclosed by the deciduous forests mixed with pine-trees of the Sopron Mountains. This path leads to the settlement of Görbehalom and a junction. Taking a right, we turn to Hidegvízvölgy Street for a few minutes to arrive at the lakeshore of Fehér-út. It is worth taking a minute to rest here. Cycling on, we pass by Lackner Cross. On the elevating roads, with a little detour, we may stop by the entrance to the nearby Saint Stephen Mine. Rolling downwards, we reach Új-Hermes and Ó-Hermes, then Brennbergbánya. In the famous mining community town, a mining memorial museum recounts the difficult life of coal miners and the mining exhibition building is also a protected industrial historic monument. The first steam machine in a Hungarian mine operated here from 1840. In the museum, traces of mining production may also be observed: the first opencast mining and the dents signaling the location of deep mines are still visible.
From Brennbergbánya, we bike to Görbehalom along the valley of the spring and the church of St. Borbala. Afterwards, we return to Sopron on the now familiar route. The second day, our cycle tour starts from Sopron. On an excellent bicycle path, we head to Sopronkőhida, famous for its penitentiary. Our road takes us by the lakes of the popular fishing and bathing water site of Tómalom. The history of the baths of Tómalom dates back to 1500, although some authors say that the lakes were already formed in the age of the Romans. The building of the mill, which drew kinetic energy from the water of the stream, was first mentioned in 1550. In 1822, a public bath opened on the lakeshore. Between 1920 and 1922, a bathing beach, a 14-room hotel and a restaurant were built based on the plans of architect Ferenc Schneider. The lakeshore beach is still very popular.
After having enjoyed the pleasant lakeshore – or even having taken a bath! – we head towards Fertőrákos, but instead of going to the village famous for its quarry near Golgota, we take a left along Pozsonyi road towards the border. The Pan-European Picnic, an important event in modern European history, took place here. At the meeting organized by Hungary and Austria, East German citizens crossed the border gate and left for Austria freely – despite the firing order in force at the iron curtain, the Hungarian guards did not intervene. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the merging of the two Germany were also the result of the chain of events at the picnic. The well-known event is preserved by the Pan-European Picnic Memorial.
This site is history itself: where the border was crossed by refugees in 1991, a ‘kopjafa', a wooden memorial column was raised by the former organizers. The knell of the memorial was donated by the city of Debrecen, the pagoda-like building and well was built by the Hungary–Japan Friendship Society, and the artwork of an opening door was created by Ottó Ratatics stonemason and his team within the framework of the National Trade-corporation of Stonemasons. The information boards in the park tell the story of the past through contemporary photographs and descriptions. ‘The Breakthrough’, a sculpture composition by Miklós Melocco, a contemporary border guard tower, the Bell of Freedom, a piece of the Iron Curtain, the Academic Memorial Forest, a children's playground and a rest area await guests who wish to remember. Afterwards, we head in a western direction parallel to the border, then we turn south and follow the green band tourist sign to return to Sopron.
Participation fee: 31.500.-
Contact: Kovács Attila +36307915306