Renovated between 2018 and 2020, all the rooms of the Esterházy Palace, which have been completely restored as a monument, await visitors. Its furnished rooms and exhibition spaces offer a unified experience, inviting those interested in taking a lavish behind-the-scenes time journey through the history of the palace, the owner family and the era.
The exhibition begins upstairs, where the open doors of the interconnected group of rooms of the “bel etage” (beautiful floor) offer many attractions. We begin our visit with an exhibition presenting the memories of the palace’s construction history. The history of the Esterházy family, embedded in the history of Europe and the Habsburg Empire, can be explored with the help of an interactive family tree.
The central area of the floor is the great hall, which was given a luxurious neo-Rococo design in the late 19th century. The freshly restored wood panelling provides space for the portraits of the Esterházy ancestors. The gallery of ancestors begins with the portrait of palatine Miklós Esterházy (I) who established the prestige of the family and won the title of count, while the youngest person depicted is Chamberlain Miklós Esterházy (III).
In the other salon upstairs, those interested can get acquainted with the history of the Esterházys, who have distinguished themselves as diplomats. This is where the notable diplomatic event, the signing of the Treaty of Schönbrunn between Austria and French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as further royal visits in connection with historical events, get mentioned. It is no coincidence that the exhibition bears the name “Island of Peace”: the tranquillity of rural recreation and lifestyle and the historical events taking place in the palace are also linked to this concept.
The library room is followed by the group of rooms of the Countess’s Suite. We can picture the everyday life of the Countess, from the scene of her day-time activities to the morning and evening combing of her hair, from the small salon to the dressing room. These furnished rooms are followed by the bathroom. Of particular value and rarity are the two intact bathrooms of the palace, one of them covered in Russian marble and the other having Dutch tiles; the former with a marble, and the latter with a porcelain washbasin.
During our tour upstairs, we may take a rest in one of the playrooms, where the little girls’ dollhouse is a scale copy of Tata Palace, and the little boys’ lead soldiers march on the authentic diorama depicting the imperial military exercise in Tata.
We may continue our palace tour in the Count’s Suit situated on the ground floor, below the suit of the Countess. The Tower Room and the room beside it called Tent Room received their names after their extraordinary wall painting. Here you can find a model of the former Tata Palace Theatre, the Schlosstheater, while in the adjoining room you may watch a short film about the rich musical past of the Count’s residence. The jewel of the Billiard Room is a 19th-century English pool table, and, to commemorate the equestrian life of the era, paintings of herd hunts, horse races and racehorses are hung on the walls. The last room of the suite is the count’s writing room, after which many more attractions await visitors on the ground floor. Thus, in the antechamber you can see the ventilated boiler that used to heat the building, discovered during a wall exploration that preceded the renovation of the palace, and the operation of which is now illustrated by an animated short film. Additional films await visitors interested in the history of the palace and the family, in the Great Salon (event space) on the ground floor. You can access the renovated Palace Chapel from here, where the over 200 years old, original altar cabinet is situated.