Eszterháza [Esterháza; Eszterház]
- László Somfai
Palace in west Hungary in the village now called Fertőd. From 1766 to 1790 it was the summer residence of Haydn's employer Prince Nikolaus Esterházy ‘the Magnificent’. The Süttör hunting lodge, designed by A.E. Martinelli, was erected at the southern end of the Neusiedler (Fertő) Lake in 1721 and served as the home of the younger brother Prince Nikolaus, who had his own theatre and marionette group, while Prince Paul Anton resided in Eisenstadt (Kismarton), the centre of the Esterházy domain. On his brother's death (1762) Nikolaus became head of the family and the wealthiest Hungarian nobleman, and decided to turn the Süttör lodge into a splendid palace like Versailles, rivalling Schönbrunn. The central building was erected between 1762 and 1766; it may have been designed partly by Melchior Hefele, and the design was revised by the prince himself. The frescoes and decorations were partly painted by J.B. Grundmann, Haydn's first portraitist. The opera house, opened in ...