Eisenstadt Tourist Attractions
Eisenstadt, capital of the province of Burgenland, on the south-east fringes of the Leithagebirge, some 15km/9mi west of the Neusiedler See, has aristocratic traditions. In the 17th and 18th century this was the principal seat of the great Esterházy family, who left a distinctive imprint on the town and helped it to prosper. Prince Nikolaus Esterházy patronized Josef Haydn (1732-1809), who was Kapellmeister here for 30 years. Haydn's house, now a museum, is open to visitors, and he is buried in the Bergkirche above the town. Eisenstadt is mentioned in a chronicle of 1118 and in a document of 1264. It was granted a municipal charter in 1373. From 1445-1648 it was in pledge to the Habsburgs; thereafter it became a royal free city within Hungary and the residence of the Esterházys. In 1921 the town became reunited with Austria, and in 1925 was made the capital of Burgenland; it is the smallest of the Austrian provincial capitals and since 1960 has also been the see of a bishop.
The town of Eisenstadt is dominated by the palace of the Princes Esterházy. Originally a medieval stronghold with four corner towers and an inner courtyard, it was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1663-72. The rear facade, overlooking the extensive gardens, was remodeled in Neo-Classical style between 1797-1805 (guided tours). Facing the palace are the court stables (Hofstallungen, 1793), and nearby (in front of the National Bank) stands a monument (1936) to Franz Liszt, who was born in Burgenland.
Address: Schloss Esterházy, A- 7000 Eisenstadt, Austria, A-7000 Eisenstadt, Austria
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 9am-4pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Epiphany (3 Kings' Day ) - Christian (Jan 6), New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), 26th of October Holiday - Austria (Oct 26), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), 8th of December Holiday - Austria (Dec 8), Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian, Easter Monday - Christian, Easter - Christian, Ascension Thursday - Christian, Corpus Christi - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €11.00, Adult €5.00, Group discounts €4.50, Senior €4.00, Students €4.00
Visitors to the Schloss Esterházy can see the Haydn Room; the ceiling is decorated with colorful frescos and on the walls are painted busts of Hungarian heroes. This was where Haydn performed many of his works; it is still used for concerts today. Other rooms in the palace house periodic special exhibitions by the Provincial Art Gallery.
To the east of Esterházyplatz in Eisenstadt extends the Old Town, also historically known as "Freistadt" (Free Town), the citizens having purchased their freedom from the Princes Esterházy in 1648. It is traversed by three long streets which open off the square: Hauptstrasse, Pfarrgasse and Haydngasse. In the broad Hauptstrasse can be seen a Trinity Column (1713), the St Florian Fountain (Florianibrunnen, 1628) and the Rathaus (1650).
In Eisenstadt's Pfarrgasse stands the Cathedral (Domkirche), a triple-aisled Gothic hall church (end of 15th century), later remodeled in the Baroque style and then subsequently returned to the Neo-Gothic. In the 15th century the church was fortified against the Turks who were threatening eastern Austria at that time. Worth seeing are the medieval gravestones, a relief in the vestibule depicting Christ and the Apostles on the Mount of Olives, the Baroque pulpit (1775) and the organ (1788).
In Haydngasse stands the house, now a museum, in which Haydn lived for a number of years. On display are portraits of the composer, his autographs, music stand, etc., as well as a Franz Liszt Room and a Fanny Elssler Room.
It is only a short distance from Eisenstadt's Haydn museum to the Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche, 1630), with its altars decorated with beautiful reliefs from 1630. The Esterházy family vault is found in the convent buildings. The church adjoins a diocesan museum.
International Haydn Days
This annual two-week festival takes place in early September and includes performances by symphonies and choral and chamber orchestras, as well as organ recitals. The venues range from the Esterházy Palace to the Bergkirche and the Raiding Liszt House.The festival pays tribute to Franz Joseph Haydn, who spent most of his adult life in the town.
The abbey was founded in the late 12th century and quickly became a spiritual and economic center. Decline came in the late 15th century. In 1680 it was re-established as a counterpart to the Lilienfeld Abbey.The Abbey Church was started in 1741.
North of Eisenstadt lies Loretto, well-known for its Baroque church (1654-59) with two west towers, which originally formed part of a monastery. The paintings in the choir, including "Maria Hilf" (Our Lady Help Us, c. 1700), frescos and sculptures in the side-chapels are worth seeing. Adjoining the cloisters is a Chapel of Mercy, with the statue of the "Black Madonna" behind a grille above the altar. There are numerous pilgrimages to Loretto every year.
South of Eisenstadt, near Sopron (Ödenburg) by the Hungarian border, lies the little town of Drassburg (Schlosshotel). During archaeological digs a fragment of a vessel decorated in relief was found which became known as the "Drassburg Venus"; it is one of the oldest of such pieces ever found in Austria.
A visit to the Electricity Museum in Eisenstadt will give one a real charge.
Map of Eisenstadt Attractions