The Erdődy palace in Doba was built in 1839 in Classicistic style. For construction work also stones from the fortress of Somló were used. The single-floor building with tympanum, Doric and Ionian orders is situated in the middle of a big and beautiful arboretum.
The building served originally as a summer residence, and was built on order of the count Erdődy Károly (Erdődy Kajetán) in the beginning of the 19th century on the highest (174 m) spot of the park on the hill called Somlóvár. The famous French architect Charles Moreau was in charge, construction works were managed by Anreith János György, engineer of the cathedral’s construction works in Szombathely, and Woyta Donát.
Required materials, such as ironwork, flooring, doors were brought from abroad, specialists were hired from Moravia, Croatia, Italy and Vienna, if suitable craftsmen were not to be found within the estates of Vas and Veszprém county. The ground-plan and front system show a clear picture according to the spirit of Classicism.
The entrance hall opens up from below the main front portico, with stairs designed by Engl from Vienna. The rooms open from the lobby connected to the stairs. The southern and northern end of the building is closed with halls, serving as architectonic masses on the fronts. The southern hall, originally built as a winter-garden, has preserved the biggest mosaic floor from the era. It was made in 1839, as the family cognizance shows.
The park, now under protection, was also designed by Charles Moreau. The elements, the trees and bushes of the landscape-garden were provided by the environment. The designer used the given natural environment, he only had to organize the waters among the forests and fields. The park is also listed in the international inventory of landscape-gardens.
This palace garden is unique in Hungary. It’s not only its size (the same size as Városliget park in Budapest: 100 ha.), but also its landscape architectonic concept, which makes it significant. It is perceivably sitting in the landscape, we get a great view to quite distant buildings. As it belongs to the first of the three generations of landscape gardens (classic, sentimental and collection), there are no garden edifices, pavilions, obelisks or memorial banks. All effects were achieved only by views and the pictorial compositions of plant groups.
Most of the early landscape gardens were reorganised with the change of the orientation of their owners, and edifices were erected in them. This was not the case here even later, and one of the reasons for this was surely the passionate love of each family member for plants: they considered the trees, bushes and rare plants as the greatest treasures of their garden. One of the first winter-gardens in Hungary was built here.
The palace was owned by the Erdődy family up until 1945. They fled from the soldiers of the Red Army to Munich, where they were accommodated by the Wittelsbach family. Interestingly enough this same family survived by living with the Erdődy family when they fled from the Nazis.
After WW2 the palace hosted a lung sanatorium, then a sociotherapeutical institution. A few years ago the national monument administration office took over the role of the owner. A restoration concept was also prepared by landscape and garden architect Alföldy Gábor, the plan was awarded the Europa Nostra award. Presently reconstruction and exploration works allow for limited visits to the institution following a preliminary check-in.
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