The Austro-Hungarian border

Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives

This excursion will transport participants to the Austro-Hungarian borderlands. Participants will be made familiar with the activities of the non-governmental organisation: the Central-European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI). They will also re-enact the Pan-European picnic, the picnic that changed European history. The Pan-European Picnic was a peace demonstration held on the Austrian-Hungarian border near Sopron, Hungary on 19 August, 1989. This is where the Iron Curtain was first pierced. In a symbolic gesture agreed by both countries, a border gate on the road from Sankt Margarethen im Burgenland (Austria) to Sopronkőhida (Hungary) was opened for three hours, during which more than 600 East Germans were led to the West. In the run-up to the picnic, its organisers distributed pamphlets advertising the event and Hungarian border guards were ordered by the Ministry of the Interior not to intervene or carry arms. We will re-enact the picnic at the feet of the monument commemorating the event. If the weather is fine, participants can also explore the Iron Curtain Trail, a European cycle track inviting people to retrace and experience the former division of the continent on a 6,800 km cycle track along the length of the former border, combining European culture, history and sustainable tourism. In 2005, the European Parliament recognised the “Iron Curtain Trail” as a model project for sustainable tourism. Participants will be offered lunch during the excursion, and will later be transferred to the city centre of Budapest by bus. 

Price: 40€