The Esterházy Palace – Fertődi Esterházy-kastély

Hungary has a lot of amazing medieval castles and beautiful palaces. There are all together 103 castles in Hungary alone. Most of which are still open to tourists and visitors. Let’s review here one of the most famous: The Esterházy Palace.

The home of the Esterházy Palace – Fertőd

Fertőd is a town located in the Győr-Moson-Sopron county of Hungary. It is not far from the Austrian border. Fertőd was formed when the towns of Eszterháza and Süttör were unified, in 1950. It is the location of one of Hungary’s best known palaces, the Esterházy Palace of the influential Esterházy family.

Prince Nikolaus IV Esterházy († 1920), his wife Margit († 1910), their son Anton († 1944) and other family members are buried in the Esterházy family cemetery in Fertőd, which is located in a small park around two kilometers northeast of the Esterházy Palace.

The history of the Esterházy Palace

Prince Nikolaus Esterházy built this palace in the 1760s. Sometimes they called it the “Hungarian Versailles“. It is Hungary’s grandest Rococo edifice. The palace is near to the south shore of the Neusiedler See. The palace has 126 rooms. The large library holds almost 22,000 volumes and all are with the letter ‘E’, standing for the family surname.

The palace was first inhabited in 1766, but construction continued for many years. They completed its opera house in 1768. It gave home to the first performance of Joseph Haydn‘s opera: Lo speziale. The music room had white and gold walls with round corners, the frescoed ceiling, glass chandeliers, roses, and audience’s period chairs.

The architecture of the Esterházy Palace

The largest room is the grotto-like Sala Terrana. It represents then fashionable Italianate style. On the ceiling are dancing Angels who hold wreaths of flowers in the shape of an ‘E’. Joseph Haydn’s concerts typically took place in the Sala Terrena.

The fountain in front of the palace was not ready until 1784, at which point the Prince considered his project complete. Nikolaus Esterházy died in 1790. Neither his son Anton, who inherited the Esterházy lands, nor any of his later successors had any interest in living in the isolated palace.

More castles & palaces in Hungary

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