Fertö/ Lake Neusiedl is the third largest lake in Central Europe, the westernmost one of the Asian steppe lake series in Europe. It is a designated World Heritage Cultural Landscape.
The large, continuous reed zone, surrounded by alkaline dry and wet grasslands, form a diverse wetland complex of international importance. Lake Neusiedl/ Fertö is extraordinarily important for bird migration and breeding. The nesting and passing waterfowl community exceeds 20.000 individuals. Extensive grazing by old breeds of livestock, e.g. the Hungarian Grey Cattle, the White Donkey or the Przewalski's Horse, preserves the open landscape. The Hungarian and the Austrian administrations cooperate in the management of the national park. Manifold habitats like open oak forests, soda lakes, expanded reed and water areas and steppe grassland house alpine, pannonian and even mediterranean species. Hanság is one of the largest peatlands in the region adjoining Lake Neusiedl, formerly fed by the floodings of the rivers.
In the middle of the Sopron historical wine region Balf village is famous for ifs several-thousand-years-old thermal bath.
Pan - European Picnic
In August 1989 authorities from Hungary and Austria permitted the so called 'Pan-European Picnic' as a demonstration for a peaceful coexistence. Instead of a few visitors hundreds of people came and more than 600 citizens from GDR took their chance to withdraw to the west. This event marked a turning-point in history: the occupation of the German embassy in Prague and the fall of the German wall followed.
Austria and Hungary and the neighbouring countries have shared their history for centuries in the dual monarchy Austria-Hungary. Sopron, by the referendum in 1921 remained part of Hungary, getting the title "Civitas Fidelissima". The former center-town of Sopron county has been surrounded by the border since then.
Today you can watch some typical border phenomena like a concentration of shops, dentists and barbers as well as the intensive protection of the border against immigrants from third-party countries.
Green Belt Europe