The name Szombathely is from Hungarian szombat, “Saturday” and hely, “place”, referring to its status as a market town, and the medieval markets held on Saturday every week. Once a year during August they hold a carnival to remember the history of “Savaria”.
Szombathely is the oldest recorded city in Hungary. It was founded by the Romans in 45 AD under the name of Colonia Claudia Savariensum.
Szombathely is the administrative centre of Vas county in the west of the country, located near the border with Austria.
The city remained inhabited throughout the Middle Ages.
James Joyce wrote that the character Virág Rudolf, the father of Leopold Bloom, his Jewish Irish protagonist in Ulysses, was from Szombathely.
Szombathely is 209 m above sea level.
Szombathely is known as the birthplace of Saint Martin of Tours.
Szombathely is twinned with Ferrara, Italy; Hunedoara, Romania; Kaufbeuren, Germany; Kolding, Denmark; Kutaisi, Georgia; Lappeenranta, Finland; Lecco, Italy; Maribor, Slovenia; Tallinn, Estonia; Oberwart, Austria; Ramat Gan, Israel; Santiago do Cacém, Portugal; Trnava, Slovakia; Uzhorod, Ukraine; Yantai, China & Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.
Savaria appears in Total War: Attila as a Roman settlement in Pannonia.