[Ger. boor-guhn-lahnt]
Eisenstadt, town (1991 pop. 10,102), capital of Burgenland, E Austria, at the foot of the Leitha Mts. It has orchards and vineyards and manufactures textiles and ski equipment. The composer Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), who lived in Eisenstadt for many years under the patronage of the Esterházy family, is buried in the noted Bergkirche, an 18th-century church. The fine Esterházy palace (14th cent.; redone 17th cent. in baroque style) still stands.

Eisenstadt (Kismarton, Železna Kapla, Željezno) is a city in Austria, the state capital of Burgenland. It has a population of about 12,000 (2006). In the Habsburg monarchy, Eisenstadt/Kismarton was the seat of the Eszterházy hungarian noble family. The composer Joseph Haydn lived there as Hofkapellmeister under Esterházy patronage.


Eisenstadt lies on a plain leading down to the river Wulka, at the south foot of the mountain range known as the Leithagebirge, about 12 km from the Hungarian border.

The city is divided into four districts:

  • Oberberg
  • Unterberg
  • Kleinhöflein
  • St. Georgen

Origin of the name

The present city name, meaning "Iron City", was first recorded in 1118 as "castrum ferrum" and refers to the history of iron mining and iron trade in the area. The first written mention of the town took place in 1264 as "minor Mortin", matching the Hungarian name, Kismarton, which is recalling Saint Martin, the patron saint of the main church.


Archeological finds prove that the Eisenstadt area was already settled in the Hallstatt period. Celts and Romans settled somewhat later. During the Migration Period, the area was settled by different Germanic tribes and the Huns. Around 800, during the reign of Charlemagne, settlement by the Bavarii began.

The fortress built on the original earth works was destroyed by the troops of Leopold III, Margrave of Austria. In 1241, it was destroyed by the Mongol invaders. In 1373, the town came into the possession of the Kanizsai family, who rebuilt the walls surrounding the town and built a fortress at the site of the present day castle between 1388 and 1392. In 1388, Eisenstadt was given the right to hold markets by Emperor Sigismund.

In 1445 Archduke Albert VI of Austria acquired the town. In 1451 it was ceded to Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor by Matthias Corvinus in return for the Holy Crown of Hungary. Matthias Corvinus reconquered it by force in 1482, but Maximilian I acquired it again in 1490. It remained under Habsburg rule until 1622. In 1529 and 1532 the Ottoman Empire conquered Eisenstadt with their advance on the city of Vienna (see Ottoman wars in Europe). It was captured by the army of Imre Thököly in 1683, and it saw the defeat of the kuruc army of Sándor Károlyi by the Habsburgs in 1704. A royal town since 1648, it was destroyed by fire in 1589 and 1776.

In 1648, it passed under the rule of the Esterházy family. These Hungarian princes permanently changed the face of the city due to their extensive construction especially on their castle, Schloss Esterházy. The appointment of Franz Josef Haydn as the prince's Hofkapellmeister (high chapel master, composing and performing music) began the great artistic period in the city's history. In 1809, Eisenstadt was occupied by French troops during the Napoleonic Wars; in 1897, it was joined to the railway network.

Until the end of World War I, it was the seat of Kismarton county in the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1921, by the Treaties of Trianon and Saint-Germain it became part of Austria. Since 30 April 1925, Eisenstadt is seat of the Burgenland state government and thus the state capital. During World War II, Eisenstadt was heavily bombarded. In 1945, it was occupied by the Red Army, and the city remained until 1955 under Soviet occupation. In 1960, Eisenstadt became the see of its own Roman Catholic diocese.


The current mayor of Eisenstadt is Andrea Frauenschiel ÖVP.

The district council is composed as follows (as of 2007):

Main sights

Religious edifices

  • Bergkirche, housing Haydn's tomb.
  • Domkirche, late Gothic former military church, began in 1460.
  • Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan church), Built in 1629, it contains the crypt of the Esterházy family.
  • Jewish synagogue.

Castles and palaces


  • Haydn mausoleum
  • Rathaus (City Hall)
  • Pulverturm (lit. "Powder tower")


  • Haydnmuseum , a museum dedicated to Franz Josef Haydn, who lived in the building between 1766 and 1778.
  • Landesmuseum (regional museum).
  • Österreichisches Jüdisches Museum (Austrian Jewish Museum).
  • Diözesanmuseum (museum of the local Roman Catholic diocese).
  • Feuerwehrmuseum (fire department museum).



Eisenstadt hosts a Haydn festival, the Haydnfestspiele.

Sister cities



Other residents

As a surname

Eisenstadt, a Jewish surname, derives from this city. Some people with this surname or its variants include:

Tori Eisenstadt


External links

See also

Search another word or see eisenstadton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature