The Danube River was the limit of Roman expansion in what is now Hungary, and most of today’s Western Transdanubia formed the province of Pannonia Superior. The Romans had a big hand in the area’s development, building some of their most important towns here, including Arrabona (Győr), Scarbantia (Sopron) and Savaria (Szombathely). Because of their positions on the amber trade route from northern Europe to the Adriatic Sea and Byzantium, and the influx of such ethnic groups as Germans and Slovaks, these towns prospered in the Middle Ages. Episcopates were established, castles were built and many of the towns were granted special royal privileges.
A large part of Western Transdanubia remained in the hands of the Habsburgs during the Turkish occupation, and it was thus spared the ruination suffered in the south and on the Great Plain. As a result, some of the best examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in the country can be found here, as well as Hungary’s first baroque churches.