Town square in the small Austrian town of Rust.
Rust (in Hungarian: Ruszt, Croatian: Luzic, Rušta) is a city in the Austrian state of Burgenland, located on the western shore of Lake Neusiedl near the border with Hungary. With only about 1,900 inhabitants, it is the country’s smallest statutory city, as it was endowed with the rights of a royal free city by the Hungarian crown in 1681. As a Statutarstadt, it also forms an administrative district (Bezirk) in its own right. The city is famous for its wines, especially for Beerenauslese, ice wine and – especially – Ruster Ausbruch.
The settlement was first mentioned as Ceel in a 1317 deed issued by King Charles I of Hungary, its name derived from Hungarian szil for Elm, later translated into German Rüster or Rusten. The present-day Hungarian name Ruszt is again a translation from the German term. Rust’s citizens received market rights in 1470 and the privilege to mark the corks of their wine barrels with the famous ‘R’ brand in 1524. The affluent town finally gained independence at the 1681 diet at Sopron by the order of Emperor Leopold I, King of Hungary.
With the Burgenland region, Rust passed from Hungary to the Republic of Austria in 1921.
In 1993 the National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel gained international acceptance as an IUCN Category II preserve. In 2001 the national parks in Austria and Fertő-Hanság in Hungary were together accepted as a World Heritage Site. The Neusiedler See and its surrounding areas in Austria also enjoy protection through the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.