In the 14th century it gained status of a free royal town and since then it has played an important role in the Hungarian history. In 16th century, Kőszeg became the major target of the Ottoman attack, but the inhabitants, under the leadership of the captain Miklós Jurisich, managed to repel the siege. For its heroism and saving Vienna from the Turkish attack, Ferdinand I granted the city an eternal exemption from duty and tax.
The monuments in Kőszeg remained almost in their original form. The colorful Jurisich square with its original Gothic, Renaissance and baroque buildings claims to be the prettiest in all Hungary.
The real symbol of Kőszeg is the Jurisich castle. It was restored in 1958 and since then it has been the cultural centre of the city. In the castle museum there is a permanent exhibition of the pictorial history of Kőszeg. In the yard you can see the statue of Miklós Jurisich.
Currently, Kőszeg is famous not only for its historic past but also for its unique ‚honesty boxes’ placed in front of the houses. They are full of locally grown vegetables, fuits and flowers which you can buy just by dropping the money into the small boxes. Noone keeps an eye on them! The city is very proud of the excellent public security and reliable people.
Apart from its architectural heritage Kőszeg offers also the natural beauty of its surroundings: the Kőszeg-mountains, with the highest peak Írottkő (882 m). The sub-alpine climate and the soil in the area are favorable for winegrowing and wine-production. Kőszeg is well known for the Kékfrankos and Blaufränkisch grape variety responsible for strong dark red wines.