Main Square, Sopron Fo tér
The Main Square is the most airy open space in the old town, visitors can stop to rest at the foot of the Plague or Trinity Column and take in some of the buildings of character.
Main Square Map
One of the finest palaces of the town stands next to the tower. It was built in the Middle Ages and King Matthias Corvinus lived here in 1482/83 during a campaign against Vienna. The Baroque exterior dates from the mid-18th C István Széchenyi and Franz Liszt also resided here. In 1872 Franz Storno the Elder (1821-1907) bought the house; the name of this family of Italian and Swiss origin dates back generations in the town's history, its members were famous artists and art collectors. The collection housed here is quite diverse: old porcelain, furniture, paintings, guild shops, traditional wood carving, ceramics, etc. At the Korbbogentor are two lions and the Festetics coat of arms; the courtyard is formed from beautiful Renaissance arcades.
The original medieval house underwent much rebuilding until it acquired its present form in 1850. On the west side there is a Baroque oriel and on the south front three Gothic windows. The apothecary's shop, which is now a museum, was established in 1642.
The southern end of Fo tér is formed by the Goat's Church or Mary Church (Kecske templom). Legend tells of treasure which was scraped out of the ground by a goat and was buried when the church was built; however it was founded by the Geisel or Geisler family whose coat of arms is in evidence in the church. The 14th C 48m (157ft) high tower, octagonal at the top, was modeled on the west towers of the Stephan cathedral in Vienna and in its turn has inspired several church towers in the Sopron region. The triple-naved church was built between 1280 and 1491 for the Franciscans, the oldest part is the choir, which is as long as the square nave. There is well preserved Gothic decoration. The façade and interior are Late Baroque/Rococo: the wooden pulpit from 1754 bears the allegorical figures of Faith, Hope and Love; the high altar (with Mary's ascension) is the work of the carpenter Augustinus Löscher. The south organ gallery rests on consoles in the shape of goats. In 1456 the Franciscan monk Johannes von Capistran (1386-1456) recruited volunteers for the crusade led by János Hunyadi against the Turks from the stone pulpit in the south nave. During the 17th C, several parliamentary sittings took place in the church, as did the coronations of two queens and Emperor Ferdinand II was crowned King of Hungary in 1625. Following the dissolution of the Franciscan order in 1787 the church was used as a barn before it passed to the Benedictines; it was restored by Franz Storno from 1888-94.
This fine Baroque column on Fo tér was erected in 1695-1701 following the survival of the plague. The kneeling figures represent the patrons, Count Löwenburg and his wife; next to them are St Jacob, Johannes Nepomuk, Antonius and King Stephan as well as Barbara, Regina, Anna and Katharina.