Batthyany.hu | Places of Residency
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Németújvár (Güssing)

Németújvár (Güssing) – Németújvár became family property in 1524 when Louis II of Hungary gave it to Ferenc Batthyány I. Németújvár was the Batthyány family’s main place of residence in the 16th and 17th century. It may be considered as the central estate of the family; moreover, the Batthyánys’ title “de Németújvár” comes from here. It is situated in the historical Vas County, in today’s Austria. A medieval castle, the Draskovich castle, a Franciscan monastery and church can be found here. The family vault of the Batthyánys is underneath the church, while the Franciscans have the family’s 3500 historical books in the library of the monastery. The municipality has been the residence of many members of the Batthyány family, among others of Ferenc I who established the family court, and Boldizsár III in the 16th century, of Kristóf II and Éva Lobkovicz Poppel, Ádám II in the 17th century, of Palatine Lajos Batthyány and Archbishop József in the 18th century. From the 19th century on, it was the home of numerous members of the family’s “Count” branch.

A tourist-friendly site: http://kirandulastippek.hu/orseg/gussing-var

Rohonc (Rechnitz)

Rohonc (Rechnitz) – Ferenc Batthyány I who had established the family’s estates, received Rohonc in 1527 from Ferdinand I. It is situated in the historical Vas County, in today’s Austria. The country town of Rohonc was an important manor in the 16th and 17th centuries. Ádám Batthyány I built the castle and the valuable family archives had been stored there, until their transport to Körmend in 1769. From the second half of the 17th century, similarly to Szalónak, the family’s “Prince” and “Count” branches shared the manor until 1746, when the “Prince” branch received the entire estate. The castle was destroyed in 1945. Rohonc had its heyday in the 18th century, after the constructions of Eleonóra Strattmann. It was the beloved residence of the family’s pride Palatine Lajos Batthyány and his son József, Archbishop of Esztergom.

Szalónak (Schlaining)

Szalónak (Schlaining) – Ferdinand I gave the manor of Szalónak, situated in today’s Austria, to Ferenc Batthyány I in 1527, together with Rohonc. Szalónak had a castle already in the Middle Ages. Similarly to Borostyánkő, it was the property pledge of the Austrian crown from the 15th century until 1647-48. After the death of Ádám Batthyány I, his sons, the forefather of the “Prince”/elder branch Kristóf Batthyány II and Pál Batthyány, forefather of the younger/”Count” branch divided the manor in 1662. Their grandchildren, Palatine Lajos Batthyány and Zsigmond Batthyány signed an exchange contract in 1748, under which the “Prince” branch received the land. However, the descendants of Zsigmond Batthyány attacked this arrangement with a huge family lawsuit. It was successful, as in the course of the 19th century Lajos Batthyány, a descendant of Zsigmond owned the manor as well. After the failure of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49, the part of the estate that belonged to him was confiscated, while the family sold the other half in 1915. Szalónak was part Tivadar Batthyány’s mining complex. The municipality was famous for its notable Jewish population living in the city since the 17th century. They were under the special protection of the Batthyány family.

Körmend

Körmend – Körmend, situated in the historical Vas County, was granted to Ferenc Batthyány II in 1606. After the expulsion of the Turks, it became the administrative center of the “Prince” branch’s estates with the significant growth of the Batthyány lands in the western part of Hungary. Eleonóra Strattmann (1712-1717) made the fortress into a castle. Part of the fideicommissum created by palatine Lajos Batthyány in 1746. Lajos Batthyány built a riding hall on a Viennese pattern. Besides the still existing weapon collection, the Batthyány family’s library and the both legally and historically extremely important archives were stored in Körmend. In the Second World War, the library was destroyed during the military movement of the Soviets. As a result, both the library and the archives were moved to Budapest. It was the most important residence of the heirs of the “Prince” title, including the palatine, Fülöp Batthyány-Strattmann, and Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann.

Kisbér

Kisbér – Palatine Lajos Batthyány purchased it in 1757-59 with royal approval. It is situated in the historical Komárom County. Tivadar Batthyány built its castle in 1770. He established a fabric factory in Kisbér, and the flock of 5000 sheep of the neighbouring manor ensured the production. During the time of Kázmér Batthyány the estate already had significant horse breeding activities. Kisbér was confiscated due to the count’s participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848-49, and the Hungarian Royal Stud-farm of Kisbér was established here in 1853. From then on until the Second World War it was the centre of the Hungarian horse breeding. It is likely that Kincsem, the successful racehorse in the Age of Dualism, was also from Kisbér.

Borostyánkő (Bernstein)

Borostyánkő (Bernstein) – Ádám Batthyány I purchased the manor of Borostyánkő, situated in today’s Austria, from Kristóf Königsperg in 1644 for 325 thousand Forints. An interesting fact is that from 1445, when Frederick III took the land by force, until 1647 when they reannexed it to the Kingdom of Hungary, Borostyánkő was part of Austria. After the death of Ádám Batthyány I, his two sons, Kristóf Batthyány II and Pál divided Borostyánkő as well, similarly to the other estates. In 1669, the ancestor of the younger, “Count” branch, Pál gave his part of the estate to Kristóf II in exchange for the estate in Szentgrót, thus Borostyánkő fell into the hands of the “Prince” branch. From 1685 to 1700 Boldizsar Batthyány, brother of Kristóf Batthyány II and Ádám Batthyány II, the son of Kristóf were the owners of the manor together. Between 1700 and 1703, Ádám II was the only owner. Between 1703 and 1734, Eleonóra Batthyány-Strattmann, from 1734 to 1765 palatine Lajos Batthyány, between 1765 and 1811 Tivadar Batthyány, between 1811 and 1828 Antal József Batthyány, while from 1828 and 1865 Gusztáv Batthyány was the owner of the estate. Already Ádám Batthyány I had added to the castle which was the preferred residence of Eleonóra Batthyány-Strattmann. Mining was present in the area of the manor, with Tivadar Batthyány being its most outstanding figure. He processed the extracted raw materials in his large-scale sulfur and vitriol factory. Gusztáv Batthyány sold the estate in 1865 to Edward Egan (1816-1880) who had moved to Hungary from Ireland.

Pinkafő

Pinkafő (Pinkafeld) – Situated in today’s Austria, the family got Pinkafő when Ádám Batthyány purchased the estate in Borostyánkő in 1644. After the split of the Borostyánkő manor in 1669, Pál Batthyány and the “Count” line received the part in Pinkafő. The estate was further divided between Pál’s grandchildren in the 18th century, and among them, Imre Batthyány I (1707-1774) got hold of Pinkafő. He became the founder of the Pinkafő sub branch of the “Count” line. Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann (1870-1931), coming from the family’s Pinkafő sub branch, inherited the title of Prince and was the ancestor of the living family members. Ádám Batthyány I built the castle in 1658. From the 18th century on, the majority of the population lived off industry and handicraft. The charitable sister of Count István Széchenyi and wife of Miklós Batthyány, Countess Franciska Széchenyi (1783-1861) lived in this town.

Tarcsafürdő (Bad Tatzmanndorf)

Tarcsafürdő (Bad Tatzmanndorf) – Lajos Batthyány purchased it in 1752. It is situated in the historical Vas County, in today’s Austria. It was famous already in the 1600s for its medicinal waters also transported to Vienna and the municipality’s bath had a private doctor. During the 18th century Tivadar Batthyány and his son, Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828) built the bath and they made the town a real tourist destination. At this time several scientific publications were written about the medicinal water of Tarcsafürdő. The bathing place had its heyday in the middle of the 19th century. During the Second World War it was seriously damaged. With the construction of the spa center in the 1990s, the municipality has a bath again. The innovative Count Tivadar Batthyány had a guest here, François Baron de Tott (1733-1793). The globetrotter with special fate has performed his mysterious scientific experiments in a building – that no longer exists – known as the Hexenhaus (Witches-house) by the locals.

Bicske

Bicske – The family got Bicske in 1607, when Ferenc Batthyány II married Éva Lobkovicz Poppel. The town is situated in the historical Fejér County. The palatine had already laid the foundations of the Bicske castle, but eventually Archbishop József Batthyány and János Hild, father of the famous József Hild built it. The observatory built in 1847 can be connected with natural scientist Károly Nagy (1797-1868), estate manager of Kázmér Batthyány. Resident of the castle was the painter Gyula Batthyány (1887-1959) from the Pinkafő subbranch. The great-grandson of Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány established an art colony there.

Trautmannsdorf

Trautmannsdorf – The Batthyány family had important estates outside the Kingdom of Hungary as well, primarily in Austria. An example is Trautmannsdorf in Lower Austria. Palatine Lajos Batthyány got it in 1756. Prince Károly Batthyány who was trusted with the education of the crown princes (József II and Leopold II, kings of Hungary later) had an outstanding library in the castle of Trautmannsdorf. The municipality acquired an important role again in the family’s history during the 20th century, when it served as home for the family members who had left for Austria during or after the Second World War, Prince László Batthyány-Strattmann VI (1904-1966) and the widow of Prince László Pascal Batthyány-Strattmann (1938-2015). The castle was sold in 1988 and 2004, today the family owns a mansion in the municipality.

Harkány

Harkány – Eleonóra Strattmann obtained the Siklós manor, which included the municipality of Harkány, situated in the historical Baranya County. She got it from the family of General Aeneas de Caprara. The general was rewarded for his services after the liberation of Hungary from the Turkish. According to the tradition, a serf called János Pogány discovered the healing power of the waters at Harkány in 1823, when his leg healed when the nearby marshes were drained. In 1828, a thermal bath was established on the proposal from the European-minded Antal József Batthyány (1762-1828), a then property owner in the municipality, father of Kázmér Batthyány. The property was confiscated, although it was returned later to the family. In 1860, it was sold to the Benyovszky family. Hungary’s first thermal water well was constructed here, thanks to Vilmos Zsigmondy’s drilling. Zsigmondy also played a key role in the establishment of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, in 1866. First among Hungary’s spas, the thermal bath in Harkány became the target of the sick nationwide during the 1920s, in one of the most difficult periods in the history of the country.

Siklós

Siklós – First General Aeneas de Caprara received Siklós, situated in the historical Baranya county, for his services in the liberation wars against the Turkish. In 1726, half of the property was granted to Eleonóra Strattmann who eventually purchased the whole property from Countess Caprara in 1736. Its castle is from the Middle Ages. Kázmér Batthyány had been the owner as well. In 1845, he hosted the participants of the 6th Congress of the Hungarian Physicians and Naturalists in his castle in Siklós, where besides grilling ox and tapping barrels he had also pleased the scientists with an imitated volcanic eruption on the Szársomlyó Hill. Because of his activities in 1848-49, the manor in Siklós was confiscated. After several attempts of Kázmér, his brother Gusztáv managed to retrieve the property for the family in the 1860s. In 1873, Lajos Benyovszky purchased the estate. An interesting fact is that Siklós had again connections with the Batthyány family just before the Second World War. The widow of Móric Benyovszky, Lujza Batthyány (1897-1981) sold the castle of Siklós to the Hungarian Army in 1944.

Vienna – The Batthyánys owned several properties in the western part of the historical Kingdom of Hungary. The family had close ties to the city of Vienna, due both to the hardships of the Turkish conquest and to the family’s loyalty and relation to the Habsburg dynasty. The first family member who lived in Vienna for a longer time was Ádám Batthyány I, in the first half of the 17th century. Ádám Batthyány II and especially his wife, Eleonóra Strattmann who had also consructed the Batthyány Palace at Herrengasse established the permanent stay of the Batthyány family in Vienna. Several members of the “Prince” and “Count” branch have lived for a longer time in Vienna, but among them Prince Károly Batthyány, Tivadar Batthyány, Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány, Prince Fülöp Batthyány-Strattmann, and Prince László Pascal Batthyány-Strattmann (1938-2015) are worth highlighting.

Bratislava

Bratislava – It became important for the Batthyány family as the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary after the expulsion of the Turks. In the 18th century Bratislava was not only the political, but also the ecclesiastical centre of the country, thus the city was the main residence of József Batthyány, archbishop of Esztergom as well. He built the Archbishop’s Palace (1777-1781) in Bratislava, and had a house there too. The city of Bratislava has served as an important residence not only for the archbishop, but also for Prime Minister Lajos Batthyány from the Zsigmond sub branch and his father, József Sándor Batthyány (1777-1812) as well.

Budapest

Budapest – In 1743, Palatine Lajos Batthyány purchased two houses of medieval origins in the Buda Castle District, from which he built a palace. The pedestrians in the Castle District may still see the Batthyány family’s crest made of stone above the gate of the building No. 3 on Dísz square. In the following, the owners of the palace were the Batthyány-Strattmann princes. From the 19th century, it functioned as a tenement, and was last modernized by Prince Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann in 1925. A notorious crime was also committed in this building, as judge royal György Mailáth (1818-1883) had been robbed there. On the other, Pest side of Budapest, another palace with connection to the Batthyány family is standing. The palace is on the Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút) of Budapest. Géza Batthyány (1838-1900) from the “Count” branch of Pinkafő built the palace, and it was modelled on the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. The City Park also has a connection with the Batthyány family, as in 1799 its area was rented by archbishop József Batthyány who had plans for the park’s design, quite similar to the present-day design. For a short time, the City Park was called Batthyány Forest. Furthermore, the land on which the National Museum stands was purchased from a Batthyány, namely Antal József (1762-1828) in 1813. For the Batthyánys, Budapest became the centre as similarly important as today first in the 19th century in the history of the family. It was the home of Kázmér Batthyány, Prince Fülöp Batthyány-Strattmann, the trailblazer of sailing, Prince Ödön Batthyány-Strattmann (1859-1931), as well as of two leading politicians of the age of dualism Tivadar Batthyány (1859-1931), minister of the king, and Lajos István Batthyány (1860-1951), governor of Fiume.