Just like Kőszeg (see here: 1, 2, 3 and 4) Sopron is right on the border between Austria and Hungary. During the Roman times a city called Scarbantia stood here, but by the time the Hungarian tribes arrived in the area the city had long turned into a ruin. However, parts of the old Roman walls were still there and the Hungarians strengthened those in the 9th till 11th century and built a castle between them. In 1153 Sopron, named after one of the owners of the castle (Suprun), was first mentioned as an important town.
In 1273 the Bohemian king Otakar II occupied the castle and took the children of Sopron's nobility as hostages. Despite that fact the city opened its gates for the armies of the Hungarian king Ladislaus IV, who rewarded the city with the rank of free royal town.
During the Ottoman occupation the Turks ravaged the city (1529), but did not occupy it, hence lots of Hungarians fledding the occupied areas of the country came to Sopron and the importance of the city got even bigger. Which didn't stop the fire that destroyed it in 1676 ... In the next few decades the city as we know it was reborn from the ashes of the old one.
On August 19, 1989 the so called Pan European picnic was held close to the city. During this protest 600 citizens of (mainly) East Germany escaped the communist dictatorship via Hungary, thus for the first time successfully crossing the Iron Curtain without any violence being used by the regime and in the end leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9 the same year.
However these days the town is best known for its dental clinics (apparently there's more than 300 of them in which excellent low-cost dental services are offered, mainly to people coming from Western Europe) and ... beer (Soproni, which is now the property of the Dutch group Heineken - a pity, because Soproni was not that good, but at least a little better than Heineken).
In this post and the following two I'm taking you for a walk through the city.