Kőszeg (German: Güns, Croatian: Kiseg, Swedish: Küseg, historical
Slovak name: Kysak) is a town on the western edge of Vas county, near
the Austrian border. The center of the Kőszeg district. District:
Due to its rich past, it has often played a significant role in the history of Hungary and Austria. It was the only one in the county of Vas to receive the title of royal city in 1328, which was confirmed with the rank of free royal city in 1648. In 1532, the castle captain Miklós Jurisics defended his city from an attack against the Turks, thereby preventing the occupation of Western Hungary and Vienna. The successful establishment of the city first brought fame and then economic prosperity. As it was spared by wars after that, it has now become one of the richest cities in our country in terms of monuments. In 1978, it received the János Hild Award for the renovation of the historic city center, and in 2004, based on the votes of Hungarian Television viewers, it earned the title "Settlement of the Year". In 2009, the Írottkő Nature Park Association, which operates in the settlements of the Kőszeg Mountains, achieved the title of "Hungary's most developing ecotourism destination". It is the center of the Kőszeg Landscape Protection District, offering many attractions to nature lovers.
Three cultures are mixed in the city: Hungarian, German and Croatian. Most of the Germans settled under the 200-year Austrian rule, while the Croatians even before that, after the Turkish attacks. International relations are represented by sister cities, the Douzelage organization and colorful city programs. There is also a university in Kőszeg.
Viticulture and winemaking were introduced by the Romans, a surviving source mentions this as early as 1279, and the "Book of the Coming of Grapes" from 1740 also testifies to it. In addition to its natural beauty, Hungary's highest snow thickness (151 cm) and highest precipitation (1510 mm) were also measured in the city area.
Writer Géza Ottlik, author of the book School on the Border, ornithologist István Chernel, obsessed with skiing, and football player Gyula Lóránt, a member of the Golden Team, should be mentioned among the first famous people connected to the city.
Kőszeg is located in Hungary, in Western Transdanubia, in the Western Transdanubia tourist region, on the western edge of Vas county, along the Austrian border, 110 km south of Vienna, 260 km west of Budapest, 130 km northeast of Graz, 18 km from Szombathely to the north, 15 km south of Felsőpulya. The center of the Kőszeg sub-region and the Kőszeg Landscape Protection District, district: Kőszegfalva. With the accession of our country to the Schengen Convention in 2007, its role as a border town ceased, and its relations with the area of the former Kőszeg district, which is considered its catchment area, became easier.
Kőszeg lies between the eastern reaches of the Alps, at the foot of the Kőszeg Mountains, which continue beyond the border into the Borostyánkői Mountains. The settlement is located in the valley of the Gyöngyös stream. Among the recrystallized rocks, the bedrock consists of limestone and green slate. Thanks to their good water-tightness, there are many springs and fast-flowing streams.
Its climate is subalpine, with a moderately cool-humid climate, but cool-humid in the higher areas. The winter is snowy, but not harsh, the summer is cool and rainy. The annual amount of sunshine is around 1800 hours. The average annual temperature is around 8.5 °C, and that of the growing season is 15.0 °C. Between April 25 and October 14, the average daily temperature exceeds 10 °C for about 172 days (frost-free period). The landscape is extremely rich in precipitation. Based on the records, the highest multi-year average precipitation amount in the country was measured here with 807 mm. In 1937, the highest annual rainfall ever measured at the Stájer houses was recorded as a domestic record: 1510 mm. (the 73-year-old record was broken by Miskolc-Jávorkút in 2010.) The average rainfall for the summer semester is 450–470 mm. The length of the snow cover period is around 60 days at the higher points of the mountain range, and 50 days in the deeper areas. The average snow thickness is around 50 cm, but the highest snow thickness in the country was also measured at the Stájer houses: 151 cm, on February 19, 1947.
The Kőszeg Mountains belong to the Ceticum flora region and the Noricum flora region. The higher parts of the mountain range have a natural pine forest, mainly spruce and Scots pine. The most common forest associations are the oak-stemless oak forests, the beech and the lime-shrinking oak-oak forests. There is also plenty of forest cyclamen here, but the only stand of white saffron in Hungary can be found in Alsórét. The southern slopes are famous for sweet chestnuts. 60% of the city's extensive area is made up of forests, 16% of arable land, 4-4% of lawns and orchards, and 1% of vineyards. The vineyards form separate Kőszeg and Környéke Hegyközés within the Sopron Wine Region. The forests in the Kőszeg Mountains are under protection, yet certain species are threatened by destruction caused by environmental changes.
The fauna of the Noricum fauna area is characterized by the eastern Alpine and mountainous character. Ground dwellers are centipedes and centipedes, while ground beetles and stag beetles live on the surface, but we also find ticks. The spotted salamander occurs around springs and streams. The agile lizard is common in sunny meadows and forest glades. Among the birds that live in the area, the peregrine falcon, the crested banka and the great watchdog deserve mention, and the black stork is a rare guest. István Bechtold had significant merit in observing the bird population. Among the mammals, wood mice, voles and shrews, and deer are found in large numbers. Squirrels are common, big peles, mouflons, chamois, hedgehogs and bats are less common. Many predators include foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, and weasels.