Esterházy Palace in Fertőd is the largest and most important palace in Hungary. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Esterházy family was one of the richest aristocratic families in the country. Nicolaus Esterházy II (1765-1833) amassed an important art collection, one of the largest in Europe at the time, a significant part of which was acquired by the Hungarian state in 1870. This collection formed the basis of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, founded in 1896. Despite the sale, however, a large number of paintings remained in the family palaces, including the palace in Fertőd as well, some of which disappeared and were partially destroyed at the end of the Second World War. In recent years, the Hungarian state has focused on renovating the palace and acquiring paintings from various private collections that are mentioned in the palace’s old inventories.
The palace has its own painting gallery, where many important works from the former collection are displayed. Most of them are on long-term loan from the Museum of Fine Arts. Almost all major schools of European painting are represented in the palace’s current collection, including some important Dutch and Flemish works.
Dr. Zoltán Kovács, Senior Research Fellow (January 2024)