Esterházy, Paul I. Fürst
Prince Paul I Esterházy, engraving
Esterházy, Prince Paul I, b. Eisenstadt (Burgenland), Sept. 8, 1635, d. Eisenstadt, March 26, 1713, field marshal, established the princely dynasty of Esterházy; son of Count Nikolaus Esterházy and grandfather of Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy, his second wife was Eva Thököly, sister of Emmerich Thököly von Késmark. Studied with the Jesuits in Tyrnau and Graz; 1652 inherited his family's great fortune after his brother Ladislaus had fallen in battle against the Turks (Turkish Wars). He also fought the Turks, for example at the battle by Mogersdorf in 1664. In 1667 became field marshal and commander of the troops supervising the border of southern Hungary. He did not participate in the Magnates' Conspiracy of 1671, but remained loyal to the Habsburgs; was palatine of Hungary from 1681. The advance of the Turkish army to Vienna in 1683 subjected people and country to serious damage and losses; E. participated in the Habsburg counter offensive and was active in the recapture of Buda in 1686. In 1687 was granted the title of prince ad personam, which 1712 was extended to his male descendants. In 1663 began construction of the palace in Eisenstadt and initiated the reconstruction of the church at Frauenkirchen. He continued loyal to the Habsburgs during the Kuruc Invasions, which began in 1703. As a versatile product of the Baroque era, E. wrote books and studied natural history. His will left each son, Michael and Joseph, two estates, which were meant to remain separate, but had already been rejoined under Joseph in 1721.
Literature: Die Fürsten Esterházy, exhibition catalogue, Eisenstadt 1995.