Sopronhorpács lies on the Southern verge of the Répce plain in Southern Hungary, five kms from the Austrian border, 21 kms from Kőszeg, 22 kms from Fertőd and 32 kms from Sopron. Here, in the vicinity of river Répce, fertile soil has formed in a strip of three to seven kilometres. Its benefits have been used well by the population of the village for centuries, and this was the basis on which dr. Sedlmayr Kurt built his sugar-beet production research, and the Sopronhorpács Research Institute was established.
The climate is mild. It is affected by the proximity of the Alps, therefore it is more rainy, windy, and a bit even colder than the national average.
The village has been a populated area since ancient times, its archaeological material is dominated by Roman relics. The settlement inhabited by Hungarians followed the characteristic development route of the Transdanubian villages. The church dating from the age of Arpad was probably built earlier than the first time it was mentioned in a charter (1230). We can suppose that it belonged to those villages, which in line with Saint Stephen's law built a church as the tenth settlement. Its name - Egyházashorpács - preserved even in the XVth. Century indicates this prior role to us.
Its medieval history, the records about his owners, the carrier and fate of its families put a strong mark on the history of the village. The Osl dynasty appears in 1230 as its first known landowner. The different lines of the family inherited the village. From these, the Kanizsai family playing a role in national politics was the most significant one. In 1526, they already had a farm in Horpács, one of the earliest in the county of Sopron. The village got from them to Tamás Nádasdy by way of a marriage. A few years after Ferenc Nádasdy, who took part in the Wesselényi plot was executed, the estate got into the hands of the Széchényi family in 1677 after its foreclosure as a mortgage.
The hereditary right was acquired by them in 1711. The rank of the village was lifted by the construction of a castle, and László Széchényi picked Horpács for living in 1741. He was followed by several of his family members, and when Ferenc Széchényi, founder of the National Library distributed his estates to his three sons in 1814, the village and the castle were given to Lajos, the eldest. With Lajos, and his ancestors who mostly prepared themselves for diplomatic careers, the village gained noblemen as permanent inhabitants.
In addition to the secular landlords, the Premonstratensian order from Csorna was another dominating owner in the settlement - and especially in Kislédec, which united with Sopronhorpács in 1933. The provosts of Csorna also carried the title of the provost of Horpács since the restoration of the order by the Hungarian Francis I (1802).
Similarly to many-many settlements in Hungary, this area was also ravaged by the Tatars, the Turks, the French, the Kuruts, the Labants, and the Croatians. In 1848-49, the inhabitants of the village also fought for the newly gained liberty as national guards, or honvéds. Count Dénes Széchenyi - probably inspired by István Széchenyi, his uncle - took to arms voluntarily with the friend of his childhood against Francis Joseph, who became emperor in the meantime. The peaceful development after the Austrian-Hungarian compromise of 1867 was broken by the first World War. The male population of the village shed their blood on the fronts, thirty people died heroically. The second World War already ruined the civilian population of the village as well during the lawless days when the front marched through the village: thirty-six people fell victims to this cataclysm.
The development of the village was triggered by the abolishment of serfdom. The wealthy, civilised population invested into increasing the level of education. In their two-storey school built in 1901 already two teachers were employed. The development of non-governmental organisations started in 1896 with the establishment of the fire brigade. After this, several others were formed between the two world wars: a para-military youth organisation, the civil rifle club, the drama society, the Kalász, a Catholic Girl Club, the Kalot, a young men's club, and others after the second World War: a mixed chorus, a wind orchestra, new drama groups, a folk dance group.
The economic and intellectual development of the village was furthered by dr. Sedlmayr Kurt's settlement. In 1930, he hired the Lédec property of the Premonstratensian order of Csorna, and started to improve sugar-beet. Within six years - in 1936 - two of his sugar-beet sorts were awarded by the state. After the second World War, he produced new sorts of beet-root. He was one of the recipients of the Kossuth-prize first distributed in 1948. He received this prize for the second time in 1954 after his inaugural address at the Academy. In Sopronhorpács, he purified altogether 18 plant sorts recognised by the state either on his own or together with his co-researchers. His success had a great role in driving the village living next to the iron curtain onto the road of development, rather than the road of decline.
And development did not stop at that, but it got extended. The dominating role of the village had been emphasised by its Norman style church earlier, which is still considered to be among the most beautiful monuments of our country. It is not an accident that the village of the Széchenyi dynasty became and remained up till now the economic, intellectual and cultural centre of the area. In addition to traditions, this central role was further confirmed by the fact that the settlement became the centre of the co-operatives and agro-co-operatives of the nearby settlements, and that it accommodated the children of the neighbouring villages in its school - and last but not least that it was close to the Western border.
The plant purifying limited liability companies working as the successor organisations of the Research Institute, the plants and businesses settled here, and the monument church of the village renowned widely, attracting many tourists and visitors make it predestined to find its place and develop further even in the new millennium in spite of its ageing and diminishing population, and the difficulties of the present transformation.