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Esterházy fairy Kingdom

History The Enterprise Today
The princely House of Esterházy was one of the foremost aristocratic dynasties Esterházy operations identify with the aims of a modern industrial and
of Europe and for centuries has helped to shape European history. cultural enterprise, in which tradition is high on the list of priorities. The
business portfolios are diverse and relate to the former structure of the
Today, Esterházy is one of the leading organisers of cultural events in Burgenland princely domains.
and one of the major private event platforms in Austria. The Esterházy Private
Foundation sees its task in preserving and researching the cultural heritage and Today’s business areas include forest and nature management, real estate,
bringing it to the public. Just as the Princes Esterházy shaped the history of the and wine-growing.
entire region for four centuries not only as magnanimous patrons of the arts and
passionate art collectors but also as excellent economic managers, Esterházy Traditional economic sectors such as forestry and agriculture are operated
is continuing the tradition and has taken over a leading role as promoter of the today in accordance with modern principles, including those of sustainability.
cultural scene. For instance, Esterházy is the largest organic farming concern in Austria.

Castles and palaces in Eisenstadt, Forchtenstein, Lackenbach, Landsee, Fertöd in

Hungary and the Roman Quarry in St. Margarethen are among the best known
Esterházy holdings in the Pannonian region. They attract around 500,000
visitors every year and so have become an indispensable part of the region’s
cultural life.
Esterházy Palace Haydnsaal
Esterházy Palace is the most notable cultural Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1809) historical roots
monument in Burgenland. The opulent rooms and the numerous sites associated with Haydn in
with their festive appointments and adorn- Eisenstadt and the surrounding region continue
ments bring the past history of the princes and even today to bear witness to the close bond
the Esterházy court back to brilliant life. And between the composer and this city and the House
this continues today. The palace in Eisenstadt of Esterházy.
is the heart of the cultural scene and the res- Joseph Haydn was composer in residence for the
plendent setting for banquets, celebrations, and princes for over 40 years and the special aura
social events. Its origins go back to a thirteenth- of Esterházy Palace inspired him to compose his
century castle. Owned by the Esterházy dynasty extraordinary music, of such resonance that it
since 1649, it was reconstructed and extended wrote history anew. The Haydnsaal named after
in the seventeenth century under Paul I into a him is still one of the most beautiful and acoustically
baroque palace, which remained the main resi- outstanding concert halls in the world today. It was
dence of the princely family for over 300 years. the original scene of Joseph Haydn’s works and
Starting in 2010, an exhibition will be held pre- provides an imposing setting for performances of
senting the family history of the Esterházys. chamber music, symphonies, oratorios and operas.
The “Haydn Explosive“ Exhibition – Wallpapers specially designed for the exhibition by Nobis, Polanszky and
Franz West conjure up the eighteenth-century feeling, an attitude to life full
Haydn goes pop in a colourful show
of sensuous and synaesthetic appeal. Contemporary works by famous artists
including Günter Brus, Franz West, Pipilotti Rist, Gelitin, Otto Zitko and Peter
This is an exhibition proving that Joseph Haydn’s (1732 – 1809) biography
Baldinger round off the exhibition experience. Imposing and monumental
is by no means fusty or boring, but far more the story of a musical superstar.
sound and video animations infuse life into the universe of the princes and
Haydn not only created new musical genres but was also a visionary and well-
the music world of Haydn. Children have their own media trip and a children’s
nigh perfect past-master in marketing methods. Renowned as “inventor of
programme catering just for them!
the string quartet” and “virtuoso of the ensemble”, he has had a permanent
influence on music history and continues to do so today.

Exhibition visitors can experience Joseph Haydn and his era as a total work Wine Museum
of art – a Gesamtkunstwerk. Paintings from the Esterházy Collections never
previously shown to the public, precious manuscripts and other major works The Wine Museum is situated in the historic cellar vaults of Esterházy Palace.
of art from famous museums across the world are embedded in a colourful Here, more than 700 objects present an overview of the history and culture
show in which Haydn “goes pop”. A freak-out carpet by the pop artist Roy of viticulture in Burgenland. Among the exhibits is the largest barrel ever
Lichtenstein extends throughout the opulently restored showrooms, where preserved and the oldest Roman-style press, or torculum, in Burgenland.
the Esterhàzy wines used to be stored. A special exhibition is devoted to the topic of “Haydn and Wine”.
Forchtenstein Castle Marvellous silver furniture
Spectacular highlight of the presentation in Forchtenstein Castle is a room
showing the collection of unique baroque silver furniture. Comparable pieces
Treasures of the princes
belonging to other royal and princely houses were melted down during the
Forchtenstein Castle is renowned as the emblem
course of history to fill the wartime coffers. For the first time, in 2007, pro-
of Burgenland.
bably the most valuable holdings of the famous Esterházy Treasure Chamber
Erected in the thirteenth century as a border
in Forchtenstein Castle were shipped to Versailles to be shown in an exhibition
castle high above the Rosalien Mountains, it ac-
in the apartments of King Louis XIV. .
ted during the Turkish Wars as stronghold of the
West. Owned by the Esterházys since the early
Mysterious treasures
seventeenth century, Forchtenstein Castle was
The treasure chamber was built in 1642 as a depot for rich heirlooms and
always the “treasury” of the family and still hou-
is the only art and curiosity cabinet in Europe still left in its original location.
ses its most outstanding collections. Visitors find
Prince Paul Esterházy went in for collecting on a big scale, including precious
themselves on a discovery trip abounding in cul-
clocks and automata, exotic stuffed animals and curiosities; he kept his
tural high spots and unique European treasures.
treasures safely in the treasure chamber protected by a complicated locking
mechanism. You can stand amazed and see them today in their original
Wondrous Ancestors
The Esterházy ancestral gallery is the largest
baroque family gallery in Central Europe. Visitors
Famliy programmes & Advent with Esterházy
can expect a fascinating trip through the family
Forchtenstein Castle presents a great many events, concerts and programmes
history that is full of surprises and voluptuous
for old and young throughout the whole year. In the summer months of July
and August, special guest is the castle mouse “Forfel“ with one of the most
There are curiosities such as the only full-figure
popular children’s and family programmes in the east of Austria.
portrait world-wide of Vlad Tepes, aka “Count
In the pre-Christmas season Forchtenstein Castle is transformed into an
Dracula”, who, like Attila the Hun, was co-opted
enchanted castle inviting its visitors to enter into the magical spirit of Advent
as family ancestor.
and Christmas..
Roman Quarry
Lackenbach Palace St. Margarethen
The Renaissance building is one of the oldest family seats of the Esterházys The Roman Quarry in St. Margarethen is one
and lies in an idyllic spot in the flats of Central Burgenland. The palace radiated of the most ancient quarries in Europe and has
an extraordinary charisma in the first half of the seventeenth century when been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.
Nicholas Count Esterházy held court as representative of the Hungarian king. The sandstone quarried there was used to build
In recent years the palace was enlarged by a modern building complex and St Stephen’s Cathedral and the finest buildings
now offers even more options for versatile use as an event location. on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. The International
Sculptor Symposium was founded in 1959.
Lackenbach Palace has thus developed into a cultural centre in Central Numerous stone sculptures by international
Burgenland and is one of the venues in the “Weinklang” festival. Top-class artists give a new and unique shape to the
concerts are held in churches, castles and palaces in the municipalities terrain surrounding the Roman Quarry.
of Central Burgenland. Wines and local culinary delicacies, exhibitions of
contemporary art put the finishing touch to the musical delights and ensure This spectacular natural setting is the festival
that “Weinklang” really does deserve the title of Gesamtkunstwerk, a total stage every year for monumental productions
work of art. of opera, attended each summer by 220,000
music lovers. The mighty walls of rock provide
One of the ancillary buildings in the palace complex houses an interactive ideal landscape scenery – with an aura of the
nature theme park; here the different habitats of forest, field, river and lake Orient – for opera performances. This breath-
landscape can be observed from the most diverse viewpoints as a total- taking open-air natural theatre accommodates
sensory show. 5,500 people and has undergone fundamental
redevelopment in recent years.
Landsee Castle Ruin Esterházy Palace Fertöd
The fortress of Landsee, looming up to dominate the Stooberbachtal in the The palace near Fertöd in Hungary was built bet-
midst of the Landsee Mountains nature park, has become a popular sightseeing ween 1764 and 1766 by Nicholas I Esterházy,
destination. Owned by the Esterházy family since 1612, the castle played an “the Magnificent”; the largest and most resplen-
important role as border fortress in the Austrian-Hungarian region, as a refuge dent of its type in Hungary, it was famed among
castle, and as residence and administrative headquarters of the Landsee contemporaries as the “Hungarian Versailles”.
rulers. This came to an end when it was destroyed by a devastating fire. Its guests included Empress Maria Theresa, also
the princely court “Kapellmeister“ Joseph Haydn,
After this great conflagration of 1790, the complex, once so imposing with who composed many operas premiered here as
its seven towers, was abandoned to crumble and decay – nevertheless, it has part of the programme of opulent banquets,
remained a cultural monument of the first order as one of the most extensive hunting and fireworks. After Schönbrunn, the ro-
castle ruins in Austria. coco garden of Fertöd was the most renowned
garden complex in the Habsburg Empire.
The Esterházy Winery
In 2006, a new, state-of-the-art winery equip-
From tradition into the future.
ped with the latest wine-making technology
The Princes Esterházy have had a formative influence for centuries on the
was set into the landscape outside Eisenstadt.
cultural and political life of Central Europe. Empress Maria Theresa was not
The winery’s endeavour is to use all its skills
alone is appreciating the wine, which thrived into rich fruition in the mild
and techniques to combine the traditions of the
climate of the lake and was grafted and matured in its own winery. The world-
House with modern wine-making methods; in
famous court musician Joseph Haydn was paid part of his salary in wine, as is
this way the vineyard character, the cru, is co-
verified in a wage tab of 1789 for payment in kind.
axed to emerge to perfection and the aromas of
the varieties really do land a hundred per cent in
The House of Esterházy has practised viticulture in Burgenland for 250 years,
the glass.
with top sites in the centre of the wine-growing region of Neusiedlersee-
Hügelland, on the southern slopes of the Leithaberg heights, and the hilly
landscape near Rust.
Esterházy Privatstiftung/ Burg Forchtenstein/ Schloss Lackenbach/ Römersteinbruch St. Margarethen/
Esterházy Private Foundation Forchtenstein Castle Lackenbach Palace Roman Quarry St. Margarethen
Esterházyplatz 5 Melinda Esterázy Platz 1 A-7322 Lackenbach 7062 St. Margarethen / Burgenland
A-7000 Eisenstadt A-7212 Forchtenstein T +43 (0) 2619/20012 oder 8626 Guided tours by arrangement
T +43 (0) 2682/63004-0 T +43 (0) 2626/812 12 F +43 (0) 2619/862675 T +43 (0) 2682/63004 -15
F +43 (0) 2682/63004-98 F +43 (0) 2626/815 11 13

Published by: Esterházy Private Foundation, 7000 Eisenstadt

Photo credits: Rudolf Hemetsberger, Manfred Horvath, Manfred Klimek, Thomas Ludwig, Sabine Sommer, Rupert Steiner, Wolfgang Voglhuber,
Picture and photo copyright: Esterházy Private Foundation, layout: Vukovits Graphic-Design, printed by: Wograndl Druck, Mattersburg

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