Esterháza is a palace in Fertőd, Hungary, built by Prince Nikolaus Esterházy. Sometimes called the "Hungarian Versailles", it is Hungary's grandest Rococo edifice.
Esterháza was not the primary or ancestral home of the Esterházy family; that was Schloss Esterházy, a palace nearby (40 kilometers (25 mi)), in Eisenstadt. Nikolaus Esterhazy began his plans for a new palace not long after he became reigning prince in 1762 on the death of his brother Paul Anton. Before this time, Nikolaus was accustomed to spending much of his time at a hunting lodge called Süttör, built in the same location around 1720 with a design by Anton Erhard Martinelli. The hunting lodge was the nucleus around which Esterháza was built.
The first architect to work on the project was Johann Ferdinand Mödlhammer, succeeded in 1765 by Melchior Hefele. While the palace is often compared to Versailles, which the Prince had visited in 1764 when he visited Paris, H. C. Robbins Landon claims that a more direct influence can be found in "Austrian prototypes, particularly Schönbrunn palace in Vienna."
The palace cost the Prince the sum of 13 million gulden, a figure that Robbins Landon terms "astronomical".
Eszterháza was first inhabited in 1766, but construction continued for many years. The opera house was completed in 1768 (the first performance was of Joseph Haydn's opera Lo speziale), the marionette theater in 1773. The fountain in front of the palace was not completed 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.
From 1766 to 1790, the estate was the home of the celebrated composer Joseph Haydn, where he lived in a four-room flat in a large two-storey building housing servants' quarters, separate from the palace. Haydn wrote the majority of his symphonies for the Prince's orchestra. Eszterháza also had two opera houses, the main theatre seating 400 (destroyed by fire in 1779) and a marionette theatre; Haydn conducted his own and others' operas, often with more than a hundred performances per year.
The palace was geographically isolated, a factor which led to loneliness and tedium among the musicians. This is seen in some of Haydn's letters, as well as in the famous tale of the Farewell Symphony.
Critiques | Translate
photoray (10547) 2014-08-20 10:55
Fine panoramic view of the Hungarian Versailles, impressive Georgian Rococo architecture with the wings leading into the frame center, with multiple columns three stories high, offset by the fluffy cloud sky.
Would enjoy visiting in person, and listening to Haydn and Handel's wonderful music.
Thanks for sharing,
PaulVDV (20753) 2014-08-20 11:53
A nearly symmetrical view of this beautiful palace.
Very nice with the garden and the wide lane leading to the entrance but the most beautiful I find those fantastic clouds in the sky.
Best regards, Paul
mesutilgim (80654) 2014-08-20 12:29
Nice capture of this palace in Hungary with very good pov and layout. The cloudy sky creates a wonderfull background to the scenery.
By the way, many thanks for your nice drawing you've posted as WS.
I'm also an amateur painter. From time to time I've published some of my artworks on my FB pages!
TFS and best regards
batalay (34817) 2014-08-20 20:39
Where the architect has imbued symmetry in his creation, we should celebrate that symmetry in our composition. I think this is a very good way of presenting the grand palace. Nikolaus Eszterhazy is a name that has been familiar to me for years, since he was an early patron of Beethoven, although he may never have fully appreciated the extraordinary gifts of the composer.
Nicou (117362) 2014-08-21 0:37
avec ce ciel blanc et ce petit forme qui laissent voir le bleu superbe quelle vue sur ce palace cadrage parfait équilibrage parfait et cette architecture un sacré place il est immense superbe.
Bravo et amitié
cornejo (28607) 2014-08-21 9:50
Hi Agnes, very good picture of this interesting castle, very well composed and perfectly captured in this beautiful image with good sharpness, depth, light and color. Good and interesting job perfectly done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good afternoon and happy weekend.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
jemaflor (81460) 2014-08-23 9:42
Well presented with the alley in the Fg and also good symetrical photo, beautiful architecture, tfs.
Noel_Byrne (21544) 2014-08-25 2:50
An excellent note to accompany this beautiful picture, what a fine palace this is. To think of this great palace being home to a large troupe of lonely musicians certainly adds a sense of melancholy to it. Lovely saturated colors and composition.
Curious_Eye (1000) 2014-08-26 14:59
There is a time for shooting, preparing, and sharing - it is always nice to come the full circle!
I like your presentation of the palace. You have captured its grandeur and I am not at all surprised it used to be referred to as the "Hungarian Versailles". There is quite a bit of sky incorporated into the scene - it works well, lifting it up. At such a distance the silhouettes of the tourists are barely noticeable, while the symmetry is emphasised. Well done!
All the best,