WENCKHEIM PALACE, SZABADKÍGYÓS
The palace was built between 1875 and 1879 based on the plans of Miklós Ybl. The park was established simultaneously. The palace was consecrated on 19 July 1882. Its commissioners of construction, Count Frigyes Wenckheim (Gerla branch) and his wife, Countess Krisztina Wenckheim (Ókígyós branch), were among the wealthiest landowners of the time. It was the brightest, most modern palace of its time, with dazzling furnishings. The palace is eclectic, neo-Renaissance in style. Its interior reflects the lifestyle and habits of the former aristocracy. The main building is single-storey, providing an unconstrained mass, with a tower and loggia terrace. A loggia corridor connects it to the annex. The staff quarters and the kitchen building are likewise single-storey.
The impressive, nearly 25-hectare park surrounding the palace has been part of the Szabadkígyós Landscape Protection Area since 1949. The group of cypresses surrounding the artificial garden lake, the enormous plane tree in front of the palace, the pedunculate oak trees, the rows of chestnut trees and the centuries-old white aspen tree are a reminder of the past. The Wenckheims raised seven children and many grandchildren and were famous for their extensive social life. They entertained several thousand guests at the palace, as evidenced by the thousands of entries in their surviving Kígyós guest book. Among their guests, prominent members of the aristocratic world could be found, such as Counts Erdődy, Károlyi, Draskovics, Bolza, Teleki, Dessewffy, Csekonics, Zichy, Esterházy, Szapáry and Cziráky, and Barons Trauttenberg and Vécsey, as well as several lord lieutenants.
Visitors to the refurbished Wenckheim Palace can explore a magical, aristocratic world and playfully experience the traditions and customs of the aristocracy. To the north of the lake, in the depths of the Palace Park, a themed playground awaits the youngest visitors. And a new, miniature shingle-roofed doll’s house has been built on the site of the former one. The reconstructed fountain in the park will captivate the visitors of Wenckheim Palace with interactive light and sound effects.