Esterházy, Nikolaus I. Joseph Fürst#
b. Vienna, Dec. 18, 1714, d. Vienna, Sept. 28, 1790, field marshal, grand-son of Prince Paul I Esterházy, brother of Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy and grandfather of Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy. In 1762 succeeded as head of the Esterházy family after the death of his brother. Studied in Vienna and Leiden. Like his brother Paul II Anton made an important contribution to the War of the Austrian Succession (was major general in 1747) and in the Seven Years´ War (leader of a regiment from 1753) was regarded as a hero because of his bravery at the battle of Kolin, for which he was awarded the Order of Maria Theresia. Lieutenant field-marshal in 1759. In 1763 he began to extend Esterháza Palace on the southern shore of lake Neusiedl with the aim of creating an "Hungarian Versailles". In 1764 made captain of the Hungarian bodyguard and plenipotentiary at the coronation of Emperor Joseph II. In 1776 made J. Haydn first kapellmeister of his court orchestra; he acquired the nickname "lover of grandeur" on account of his patronage and love of the arts, and especially after completion of the extensions to Esterháza Palace in 1768. His court and entourage became known as the "Esterházy Fairy Kingdom". In 1782 the title of Prince was accorded to all his descendants.
Literature#M. Horanyi, Das Esterházysche Feenreich, 1959; J. Haydn in seiner Zeit, exhibition catalogue, Eisenstadt 1982; Bollwerk Forchtenstein, exhibition catalogue, Forchtenstein 1993; Die Fuersten Esterházy, exhibition catalogue, Eisenstadt 1995.