Festetics Palace in Keszthely, an impressive Baroque castle on the Balaton lake

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

The Festetics were a Hungarian noble family attested since the 17 century, that included even a prince. Their wealth came from farming large plantations, in connection to which they made some philanthropic actions, like building a hospital or agricultural colleges. They were also supporters of culture, as the large library inside the palace shows, with its some 100.000 books. Family’s mansion grew with time, since 1745, until reaching a full scale palace. The style of the palace in Keszthely is a well balanced German Baroque. It was finished at the end of 19 century, but has been renovated in 2009.

In total, there are 101 rooms in the palace, which is now a museum and hosts artistic events on a regular basis. The greatest chamber is adorned with large mirrors and golden stucco. Other rooms are covered in silk wallpaper, like the red room. The domain of the family was large enough to accommodate a private chapel with stained glass windows. Besides seeing the life and taste of an aristocratic family, the rooms also exhibit some collections, like old weapons, while near you can see a carriage museum. The yard of the palace is connected through a neo-Baroque monumental gate to the main street on Keszthely. It’s a long pedestrian street with shops and restaurants, but also some new private collection museums, like kitsch museum or reptiles museum.

The yard of the palace near the Balaton lake is a spectacle in itself. It is an English garden with old trees and some 70.000 flowers planted each year, with a loan that puts the Festetics palace in the spotlight. Statues, fountains and sculpted vegetation also bring to life the vast gardens.

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