The Second Golden Age

Esterházy IV. Miklós (1869 - 1920) - Fertőd, Eszterháza, Esterházy-kastély

Esterházy Nikolaus IV (1869 - 1920) was born in Vienna. Despite the fact that he started learning foreign languages at an early age, he was raised in completely Hungarian spirit. He attended Secondary Grammar School in Sopron as a public student, and acquired a doctoral degree in law and political science. He served as a soldier afterwards. He left the army after his father’s death in 1898 as a reserve hussar major and took over his heritage.

On 16th November the same year, he married to Countess Margit Cziráky Maria Ludovika, a Lady of the Starry Cross, daughter of a historic Hungarian family.

The young couple started their married life with great common plans. They aimed to adjust the Esterházy family’s financial status, absolving sequestration on the property and renewing the family monuments which had been neglected through generations.

According to this, they chose a modest way of life; first they settled in the mansion in Dörfl, and then moved in the summer palace in Lockenhaus. Kismarton, the palace in Vienna and other properties were closed down for cost-saving, and Prince Nikolaus took control over the enormous Esterházy holding. To carry all this labour out, he found a determined ally in his young wife, who proved to be a forceful landlady. As she wrote once herself; ‘I have been a wife of a captain all my life’.

Their job was not easy. As the correspondence of the couple shows, Prince Nikolaus spent as much of his time on business trips as a manager of any big company today. It was little less than a miracle that they paid back the millions of forints worth loans burdening the properties in almost just a decade, besides absolving the overwhelming sequestration. They did so while even having family castles and patron churches one after another renewed.

Cziráky Margit - Fertőd, Eszterháza, Esterházy-kastély

Eszterháza had always been a labour of love of its price. Right after absolving the sequestration, the ‘wife of a captain’ started to breathe new life into the neglected dream world of Esterházy ‘the Magnificent’ Nikolaus (1714 - 1790), and if hands of cruel fate had not taken her in 1910 at the age of only 36, she would have completed what she had started. Before her death he asked her husband to have her buried, instead of the crypt of the family in Kismarton, somewhere in Eszterháza where Hanság and Lake Fertő can be seen...

Prince Nikolaus, father of five, did not remarry. Despite the fact that his business and public affairs took plenty of his time, he was always a loving and caring father of his children.

Sírdomb - Fertőd, Eszterháza, Esterházy-kastély

Unfortunately, no long life was given to him either. Death overtook him as a result of a former horse-riding accident in Sopron. He was buried next to his wife to a graveyard (Grave Hill) which he had designed with so much love for the two of them. On the gravestone, except for his name, date of birth and death, there is only one word to be read: CREDO (I believe).

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  • IV. Miklós
  • Prince
  • Born:
    1869. július 5.
  • Died:
    1920. április 6.
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