Care and Expansion of the Collections

Care Expansion Collections

With a major regional exhibition, inventory from all areas was sighted and documented as of 1995. According to a large master plan of 2005, the historical collection areas were newly defined and systematically concentrated or—having been scattered from the chaos of war—reassigned.

The following partial collections form today’s focal points:

  • Treasure chamber collection
  • Armoury, arsenal, weapons collection
  • Hunting and uniform depots
  • Porcelain, table and silver chambers
  • Ancestral portrait collection
  • Wagons and carriages
  • Graphical collections
  • Library
  • Map collection
  • Economic archives and blueprint collections
  • Music archive


In addition, there is the furnishing of the palaces with interiors, sculptures, applied arts and paintings.

Individual conceptions of the museum palaces were developed and implemented, which accommodated the location and its collections handed down through history:

  • At Forchtenstein Castle, Prince Paul I’s Baroque collections are on display; it was Paul I who made the castle into a ‘family vault’. The Baroque idea of representing social status via art collections in family portrait galleries and treasure chambers is thus visible once again.

  • Esterházy Palace is a reflection of the Esterházys in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as of the musical tradition of the dynasty surrounding Joseph Haydn.

  • Lackenbach Palace is home to the natural history collections.


Academic research projects process the inventory of the collections and archives as one of their primary tasks. For this purpose there exist cooperative efforts with the Hungarian National Library in Budapest, the Restoration Institute of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, History Institute of the University of Vienna, the Department of Music at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as with numerous art historians and historians in Germany, Austria and Hungary. At present, there are seven active research projects covering the most diverse historical topics and areas of the collections.

Together with the collections of the Liechtenstein princes, Esterházy was founder of the network of private art collections in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany (the Harrach Collection in Rohrau, Schönborn-Buchheim, Oskar Reinhart in Winterthur, Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, Rockox House in Antwerp, Borromeo on the Isola Bella, among others).