Esterhazy is the name of one of Austria's greatest castles. Found in the city of Eisenstadt, this grand edifice has its roots in the late thirteenth century, though it was a 1663 conversion and subsequent renovations that were largely responsible for its dazzling baroque appeal. A graceful exterior isn't the only reason why this palace is worth a visit while in the area. The famous Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn, spent much of his time at the estate, lending to its historical richness, and among the amazing rooms that can be found on the inside is a remarkable concert hall that bears his name. This hall was where Haydn created some of his best works.

Esterhazy history is closely tied to the powerful Esterhazy clan, hence the name. This clan was a very powerful Hungarian family, and they owned many estates throughout the region. This part of Austria, the territory of Burgenland, to be more exact, was part of Hungary until it was transferred to Austria in 1921. The Esterhazy family had overtaken possession of Esterhazy Palace in 1648, and they maintained control of the structure for quite some time. These days, it is a museum instead of a lavish residence, and as far as cultural attractions are concerned, there are none greater in the Burgenland region.

On a visit to Esterhazy Castle in Austria, you can learn more about the powerful Esterhazy family and the famous composer that they were so fond of. Esterhazy princes were the ones who primarily resided in this palace, and many of the rooms provide excellent insight into how they lived. Once inside the glorious palace, you can also admire the concert hall that was created for Joseph Haydn, and there are various exhibits that relate to the composer's life and career. Also of considerable interest at the Esterhazy Castle is the Wine Museum. This museum is housed in the palace vaults and focuses primarily on wine from the region.

The city of Eisenstadt is only about 30 miles southeast of Vienna, so it's an easy day trip destination from the capital. Those who are coming from Vienna might consider taking a bus to the palace. The bus station is only about a ten-minute walk from the castle, and signs are in place to help you get where you need to go. Esterhazy is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the period of mid-March to mid-November. The rest of the year, it is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. Facilities include a gift shop and a wine cellar, and you might keep an eye on the events schedule to see if and when any concerts are to be held in the wonderful Haydnsaal concert hall.

As a side note, the city of Eisenstadt holds its Haydn Days festival in September. This festival sees the castle and other venues around town being used for live music performances, and as you might suspect, Haydn's music is at the heart of things.

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