The Esterhazy palace is a beautiful baroque palace in Austria that you shouldn’t miss!
Here you will learn everything you need to know to plan a trip to it and check out our Austrian Castles and Palaces guide.
Table of Contents
🛕 What is the Esterhazy Palace known for?
The Esterházy Palace, also known as Schloss Esterhazy, is a baroque palace in Eisenstadt, the regional capital of Burgenland in Austria.
The original building dates back to the 13th century and was remodeled from a castle to a palace. Major renovations have been done since the Esterházy family came to the ownership of the palace in the 17th century.
The Esterhazy family is a noble Hungarian-family, known for their loyalty to the Austro-Hungarian emperor. They thought through the ages against the Ottoman aggressors and Napoleon siege, and gained quickly enough great importance in the Austro-Hungarian court.
Today, the Esterházy foundations own the Esterházy palace. The family also owns the palais Esterhazy in Vienna and the Forchtenstein castle. Most of their properties, scattered in 5 different countries, were lost after the first and second world war.
The palace gained on fame because of the classic composer Joseph Haydn. He was in service of the Esterhazy family for over 40 years, where he was first the Kapellenmeister (music conductor) and later a family friend who would spend his summers composing beautiful pieces in the Esterhazy palace halls.
🎻 Haydn Hall and Joseph Haydn
The banquet hall, also known as Haydnsaal or Haydn hall is a large highly decorated hall used for various event and musical shows over the centuries.
Its acoustics has been perfected, making it one of the most important concert halls in the world, which tops as one of the most stunning event places.
The vibrant ceiling paintings, the so-called frescoes, show Greek and roman mythological stories and the massive hall is decorated in elaborated stucco.
The yearly Esterhazy music concert and Herbstgold festival are held in the Haydn hall. World-famous musicians, with a classical and non-classical background, get to play in this well-maintained hall.
Furthermore, a Joseph Haydn exhibition called Haydn explosive, awaits you in the palace first floor halls (ground floor for the rest of the world). As a visitor, you get to see some of his personal belongings and his instruments.
👩🏻🦳 Melinda Esterhazy
The princess Melinda Esterhazy, born Ottrubay, married into the Esterhazy family. She was a well-known Prima Ballerina from Hungary.
The late princess and her late spouse, Prince Paul Esterhazy de Galántha, worked tirelessly for the conservation of the Esterhazy palace.
Before her demise in 2014, she created the private Esterhazy foundation, whose function is to continue her lives work.
A dedicated exhibition about her and her husbands’ life can be visited in the Esterhazy palace’s upper floors (2nd floor for Americans, 1st floor for the rest of the world).
🍷 The Wine Cellars
The over 300-year-old underground wine cellars of the Esterhazy palace have been turned into the largest wine museum in Austria.
Massive barrels and over hundreds of astonishing pieces used in the art of wine making, such as a Baumpresse (an Austrian wine press), can be studied in the wine cellar vaults.
The wine tour will also take you across the cellars to the kitchens, where the best cooks of the regions would prepare grand feasts for notable events.
💡 Other Highlights
- Red Room – The most important of the many magnificent rooms, decorated with precious red silk wallpaper
- Esterházy Family Silver and neoclassical silverware – The largest collection of surviving Empire silver service in the World
- Esterházy’s family’s unique private art collection
- Console table from the workshops of Giuseppe Briati in Venice
- Orangery in the palace grounds
- Leopoldinentempel in the palace park gardens
- Haydn House, Haydn Mausoleum, Haydn Church
- The Esterhazy Schnitte – a layered Torte cake prepared with almond flour and custard.
💬 Info for your Visit
Entry per adult is €15 and with a guide €18. They have a combined family price of €33 for adults with kids, and €39 if you want to join a guided tour.
The palace can be visited between 10 am and 5 pm, the boutique is opened up to 6 pm.
Guided Tours in English are offered on the weekends at 1:30 pm.
The palace has been made accessible barrier-free, that means visitors with a disability can experience the palace in an equal setting like everyone else. But, it is advised to contact the palace reception in advance to let them know abut your visit.
Pet’s are not allowed in the palace.
There is a restaurant where you can stop for lunch and toilets are not free.
🚗 Parking and Getting There
The palace is located in Eisenstadt city, and they share parking opportunities.
Yet, the palace has an underground garage for €5 for 4 hours. You get this reduction only if you show your garage ticket slip to the palace ticketing counter.
You can get to Eisenstadt from Vienna, it’s a 1-hour car drive via the A3 southwards, or by train it’s a nonstop 1 1/2 h train ride to Eisenstadt, making it a perfect day trip from Vienna.
The palace is a 15-minute walk up the hill from the Eisenstadt train station.