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Esterházy Castle Museum - Fertőd
Address: 9431, Fertőd Joseph Haydn utca 2.
Phone number: (99) 537-640
Opening hours: 15.03-31.10.: Tue-Sun 10-18
31.10-14.03.: Fri-Sun 10-16
The wonderful castle of the princes Esterházy in Fertőd is a national monument of extreme significance. Fertőd cane to existence by connection the villages Eszterháza and Süttör in 1950. The village Süttör was mentioned by the name of Sehter in a document from 1313. It belonged to the Kanizsay family first, later to the Nádasdy family.

After the Wesselényi-Nádasdy conspiracy against the Habsburgs, the count and patron of arts Count Nádasdy Ferenc was sentenced to death. The prince Esterházy Pál (1635-1713) acquired his land. Since he was in considerable debt, he lent the estate first to the primate Szelepcsényi György, later to the Benediction order of Máriazell. As the area around the estate was prefect for hunting, the son of Pál, the count József refunded the estate in 1719.

Close to Süttör in the area rich in lakes, birds, fish and hunt the count József built a castle for which Anton Erhardt Martinelli made the design. Besides the main building farm-buildings were raised on both sides with fountains and a French garden around it.

On 26, March 1721 the brother of József, Mihály died. Thus, József inherited Mihály's land, who, however, died in the same year. The second son of József, Miklós, inherited the estate with the castle. The prince Pál Antal died on 18, March 1762, thus Miklós also inherited the prince rank. Just like his father, Miklós also loved to stay in the castle and he even preferred it to the estates in Fraknó and Kismarton. He renovated it and added extra parts to it in 1762 and he also had a castle built for parties on the estate.

The bright residency that hosted the visitors is of an extreme significant from the point of view of music history since it hosted one of the most important musicians of the world, Joseph Haydn, for thirty years.

The wonderful Rococo castle and its garden were recorded on several drawings. The one titled "Beschreibung des hochfürstlichen Schloßes Esterház im Königreiche Ungarn" was published in Bratislava in 1784. The prince probably commissioned the artwork.

Two quarters of the guards were erected on both sides of the entrance. A wonderful cast iron gate served as the entrance to the wonderful yard divided into three. After the one story building two-storey arched wings lead to the two- story main building. A tympanum with trophies closes its middle bay over the second storey. The facade is ornamented with statues and vases. In front of the main building cast iron pair of stairs on both sides leading to the balcony. Lamps surrounding ornament the stairs and the balcony.

Behind the cour d'bonneur a wonderful Rococo yard full of statues and vases was built up. The parterre divided into three parts had numerous orange trees, flowers and bushes in it. Several buildings like the Diana Church, Nap Church, and Chinese Inns were situated. (etc. Bagatelle).

The Opera house stood west of the castle, at the side of the yard. After its renovation after the fire, it reopened again in 1780 with larger and more wonderful buildings. The marionette theatre was opposite to the opera. Behind it the 'orangerie' (orange house) stood with the famous citruses of the prince in it.

The Music House, the dwelling place of the musicians, singers and actors, among them Joseph Haydn, was on the West side. The barn and the riding arena were also on that side.

(Except from: National Buildings In National Care by Bardi Terézia - Mrs. Wisnovszky Hajdi Márta, 2004.)