Esterházy-kastély
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THE LEGENDARY TREASURES OF THE ESTERHÁZY FAMILY

Exhibition in the Palmhouse (Taking photographs is not allowed!)

 The Esterházy Palace at Fertőd is the greatest Baroque-Rococo monument complex in Hungary. On the site of the Palace, Joseph Esterházy initiated the construction of a hunting lodge with twenty-two rooms in 1720, based on the plans of the Viennese architect, Erhard Martinelli. However, the golden age of the Palace began when Nicholas Esterházy (also known as Miklós ‘the Magnificent’) succeeded to the ducal title after the death of his brother Paul Anthony (Pál Antal). ‘What the Emperor can afford, I can also afford’ – this idea of Nicholas Esterházy was behind the monumental construction of the Palace which continued almost continuously until his death in 1790.

Already since 1765 both the palace and the town have been named Eszterháza.

Utilising the grandeur of 18th century Baroque-Rococo architecture, Duke Nicholas enlarged the palace with an opera house and a puppet theatre and employed German theatre companies as well as Italian and French ballet dancers. The orchestra of the Palace led by Joseph Haydn the great Austrian musician, the chamber composer and conductor at Eszterháza, was well-known all over Europe.

However, the splendour of the Palace vanished after the death of Nicholas Esterházy ‘the Magnificent’. His son, Nicholas Esterházy II, founder of the famous Esterházy picture gallery, put back his residence to Kismarton and Eszterháza has been abandoned for a century. In the 19th century several buildings, including the opera house, were demolished and some buildings were used for agricultural purposes.

On the wall you can see a floor plan of the castle, at the bottom of which you can see the castle itself and its ornamental courtyard in the form of a small "U". Behind it you can see the French park and the Lés Forest, which in the time of  Duke Nicholas Esterházy the ‘Magnificent’was still an area of about 300 hectares. At the end of the central avenue we can see the tower of the church of the neighboring settlement, Fertőszentmiklós, on the left the silos of the old Petőházi sugar factory, and on the right there used to be a hunting lodge in Röjtök, which unfortunately is no longer there.

Below the map are two chairs with a Chinese culture on them, topped with a small Chinese figure holding an umbrella in their hands.

The History of the Treasury, The History of the Family

Palatine Paul Esterházy (1635–1713) installed his Treasury in the castle of Fraknó (today Forchtenstein, Austria) in 1692. It is the only Hungarian Baroque aristocratic treasury preserved in its original place. The treasures of the Esterházy family rivalled the collections of European imperial courts. The First World War and the predictable partition of the country by the Treaty of Trianon encouraged DukeNicholas Esterházy IV (1869–1920) to transport part of his collection to Budapest. The Esterházy Treasures were preserved by the Museum of Applied Arts and during the Second World War the collection was relocated to the Esterházy Palace in the Castle of Buda. Unfortunately, the Palace was bombarded in 1945 and many of the treasures were damaged or destroyed. The majority of the surviving art treasures were transferred to the Museum of Applied Arts where over a long period of time, were restored by Joachim Szvetnik. The Esterházy Palace at Fertőd was not damaged during the war but most of its furniture was demolished, burnt or carried away.

Clocks and furniture are exhibited on the right hand side while a selection of porcelain pieces and portraits of the Esterházy family members are on the left hand side of the room. The two silver plated chairs at the end of the room were ordered by Paul Esterházy I (1635–1713), the first duke of the family raised to the rank by Emperor Leopold I in 1687. That explains the presence of the letter ‘L’ (Leopold) in the Esterházy coat of arms which decorates the backrest of the silver plated chairs.

 

The paintings portray the following members of the Esterházy family:

1. Ursula Esterházy  (1641–1682): wife of Palatine Paul Esterházy. She had 18 children.

2. An Esterházy child: probably the child of Ursula and Paul.

3. Paul Esterházy I (1635–1713): palatine, grandfather of Nicholas Esterházy the Magnificent.

4. Duke Nicholas Esterházy the ‘Magnificent’ (1714–1790): he ordered the construction of the greatest part of the Esterházy Palace at Fertőd. The golden age of the Palace is connected to his name.

5. First Count Miklós Esterházy (1583-1645): He was the son of Ferenc Esterházy, an alispán from Bratislava, and Zsófia Illésházy.

6. Duchess Maria Anna Louise Lunati-Visconti (1713–1782): the Lorraine-born wife of Paul     Anthony Esterházy who visited Eszterháza in July 1773.

7. Esterházy son (1845): unknown.

8. Duke Paul Esterházy IV (1843–1898): grandfather of Nicholas Esterházy IV. The monumental restoration of the palace in the early 20th century is attached to the name of Nicholas IV and his wife Margaret Cziráky.

 

‘White gold’ – The order of the exhibited porcelain pieces: Japanese, Chinese pieces, china from Meissen (the first porcelain manufactory in Europe), china from Vienna (from the Augarten manufactory) and Dutch china.

Informácie

OPENING HOURS:
Tuesday-Sunday 9.00-17.00
Cashier’s office opening hours: 8.45-15.55
Palace tour - only with guided tour!
 

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