Güssing (Hungarian: Neméthújvár, Croatian: Novigrad) is a town in Burgenland in Austria with around 4,000 inhabitants. The cityscape is shaped by the castle on a volcanic cone and the nearby fish ponds. After Güssing was in an economic problem zone for decades, the small town has developed into the European center for renewable energy after the opening of the Iron Curtain.
Güssing's roots go back to a suburbium that arose in the shadow
of Güssing Castle and was surrounded by a lenticular hill around the
castle rock. In 1427 it was called civitas and in 1459 civitas et
Güssing has been a free city with full city rights since the 16th century. In 1619 it was surrounded by a curtain wall and had four parts of the city: suburb (Mühlviertel), lower town (location of Drašković castle), inner town (monastery church to town hall) and high town.
In 1540 the magnate Franz Batthyány received permission from Emperor Ferdinand I for Güssing to develop ore mines, and in 1549 the emperor also granted him the right to hold markets in Güssing. There is a market in town every first Monday of the month.
Like all of Burgenland, the place belonged to Hungary (German-West Hungary) until 1920/21. Since 1898 the Hungarian toponym Németújvár ("German-Neuburg") had to be used due to the Hungarian government's policy of Hungarianization. After the end of the First World War, after tough negotiations, German-West Hungary was awarded to Austria in the Treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon in 1919. The place has belonged to the newly founded federal state of Burgenland since 1921 (see also the history of Burgenland). 1973 Güssing was raised to town.
From 1909 until after the end of the Second World War, Güssing had a rail connection via the Güssing Railway to Körmend, which was primarily used to transport timber. After 1945 it seemed pointless to maintain rail operations, not least because, on the one hand, the traffic was only directed to Hungary and, on the other hand, because the “Iron Curtain” now separated the railway line. Rail traffic was discontinued and the tracks were rotting. Today, the new federal highway 56 between Güssing and Strem mainly runs along the former railway body. The station building in Güssing, built in 1899, has been renovated and is still standing.