This weekend I enjoyed the classical music of Joseph Haydn and the beautiful Esterházy Castle, during my short journey in Austria.
(March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809)
Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau in Austria, a village near the border with Slovakia. Haydn's parents had noticed that their son was musically talented and knew that in Rohrau he would have no chance to obtain any serious musical training. It was for this reason that they accepted a proposal from their relative Johann Matthias Frankh, the schoolmaster and choirmaster in Hainburg. It was only seven miles away from Rohrau and about 7 miles from the Slovakian border.
He was six years old. He was also a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven. In 1740 moved to Vienna, where he worked for the next nine years as a chorister. In 1760, with the security of a Kapellmeister position, Haydn married. His wife was the former Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller (1729–1800), the sister of Therese (b. 1733), with whom Haydn had previously been in love. Haydn and his wife had a completely unhappy marriage, from which the laws of the time permitted them no escape; and they produced no children. Both took lovers.
During the nearly thirty years that Haydn worked at the Nickolaus Esterházy court, he produced a flood of compositions, and his musical style continued to develop. His popularity in the outside world also increased
The first part of the castle with its 50 meter high keep was built in the 13th century by the Lords of Mattersburg, who later named themselves Lords of Forchtenstein.
Around 1450 the Lords of Forchtenstein died off due to lack of a male heir and the castle was passed over to the House of Hapsburg, which owned it for 170 years. They leased it to others, including the Counts of Weissbriach and Hardegg. During this time the building was not changed significantly.
In 1622 Nickolaus Esterházy, founder of the western Hungarian Esterházy line, received the castle from Emperor Ferdinand II, and Esterházy became a Count. Nikolaus started to fortify the crumbling castle and refurbished it with the services of Vienna builder Simon Retacco from 1630 to 1634 and with Domenico Carlone from 1643.
The castle is still owned by the Esterházy family and, together with Castle Esterházy in Eisenstadt, it chronicles the history and treasures of this ancient aristocratic