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Prince Nicholas II Ferdinand of Esterházy

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Prince Nicholas II Ferdinand of Esterházy (German: Fürst Nikolaus II Ferdinand Esterházy von Galántha; Hungarian: Ispán Miklós Ferdinand Eszterházy de Galántha) (1765 - 1833) was the Imperial Prince of Esterházy von Galántha (1794 - 1833). He succeeded his father Anthony in 1794, and was succeeded by Paul III Anthony in 1833.

During his youth he served as an officer in the guards. He later served the Holy Roman Empire as a diplomat, gaining immediacy and a seat in the Bench of Princes in 1804. In 1806, the Empire was abolished, and the Esterházy estates in Germany were mediatised. In 1809 Napoleon Bonaparte of France occupied Vienna and offered to Prince Nicholas Ferdinand the crown of Hungary. Nicholas rejected it, and instead raised a regiment to fight for Austria against France.

Nicholas was a patron of the arts like many of his predecessors. He employed Joseph Haydn like his grandfather Nicholas I the Magnificent, and commissioned Beethoven's Mass In C. After its first performance, Nicholas Ferdinand criticised the work and Beethoven left his house in rage. During the Grand Tour Nicholas Ferdinand took during his youth, he acquired a taste for art. His avid collecting, and a financial crisis which hit Austria in 1811, bankrupted the family, and it took two generations to recover.

Nicholas II Ferdinand's biographer Karl Gereigner described him as such: "He was as complete an autocrat as his grandfather had been, but lacked the latter's charm, kindliness, and genuine understanding of music ... contemporaries described the prince's nature as 'worthy of an Asiatic despot'".



Preceded by:

Nicholas II Ferdinand

Succeeded by:

Anthony Esterházy von Galántha
1794 - 1833
Paul III Anthony

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