The archive of Forchtenstein Castle


Part of the Princely Esterházy Archive is now kept in Forchtenstein Castle. The archival material documents the economic affairs of the Esterházy family and contains information on their history.

archive Forchtenstein Castle
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The archive must have been started before the Esterházy era at Forchtenstein Castle, for a takeover inventory of 1622 mentions an already extensive archive of reclaims, orphan registers and records.

Rapid growth

The Esterházy family was diligent in archiving its documents, so there was an increasing need for space to accommodate their rapidly growing archive. While extending the south wing in the early seventeenth century, new archive rooms were built next to the chapel. Moreover, an archive room was set up next to the treasure chamber, which afterwards held the most important documents on ownership and family affairs.
Division of the archives

The separation in 1921 of Esterházy possessions into a Burgenland and a Hungarian part brought with it a division of the archive. Family-related papers then landed in Budapest in the Hungarian State Archive. The commercial and economic archive of the Esterházy family remained at Forchtenstein Castle.
10 kilometres of archive material

The archive takes up a total of 25 rooms today. When placed in a line, the archive material would cover a distance of around 10 km!

Conservation measures and academic research

A start was made in 2000 in partnership with the Burgenland State Archive to film important and particularly endangered items. Using reader printers, the specialists can inspect the microfilms, print out copies, and read data into electronic storage mediums for editing and analysis. This microfilming is at present in process again, covering 20,000 pages. The oldest Urbar land records of the domain of Forchtenstein and Eisenstadt (since 1526) are at present being restored at the Institute of Paper Conservation in Vienna.

Esterhazy Privatstiftung
Esterhazyplatz 5
7000 Eisenstadt, Austria
T +43 (0) 2682 / 63004-0

         © Sat Feb 24 08:58:05 CET 2018 Esterhazy Betriebe GmbH