Nagytétény Castle is today the furniture museum of the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest established in 1949. One of the finest monuments of Baroque architecture in Hungary, the former Száraz-Rudnyánszky Castle was designed by András Mayerhoffer and built by Baron József Rudnyánszky between 1743 and 1751 on the place of a Roman villa rustica and using an earlier castle that stood here. The Száraz-Rudnyánszky Castle was built in the so-called Grassalkovich Style. The original Gothic castle was built in the 13th century for the Tétény family that was related to the Árpád Dynasty.
During the one hundred fifty years of Ottoman Occupation (1541-1686), the Nagytétény Castle was the home of high-ranking Ottoman officers. In 1686 captain Ferenc Buchingen received the castle in honour of his merits in the war against the Turks. Later the mortgaged property was redeemed by György Száraz. Baron György Száraz moved in the castle in 1716 and started to reconstruct and expand the building.
After the death of Julianna Száraz-Rudnyánszky (1798), the castle was divided into three parts for the heirs. In 1904, the castle burnt down, nothing remained from its interior furniture. During World War II, the building was badly damaged. The Ministry of Agriculture transferred the castle for museum purposes in 1948. Its reconstruction started in 1951, and the first furniture exhibition opened in the same year. In 1989 - due to the deterioration of the building - the castle had to be closed down. After the restoration works started in 1997, the Castle Museum opened again for the public in 2000.
The applied arts exhibition presents artifacts of Hungarian and foreign furniture-making in a historical context with contemporary carpets, stoves and ceramics. About 300 items are presented in more than two dozen rooms.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.