When I was working on my book "The Colours of Decay" five years ago I visited this manor house (Schloss Batthyány in Trautmannsdorf/Leitha in Lower Austria) for the first time. It was then in a condition of total decay. Today, having read in the news that the manor has been finally sold last year, I went back to see what has changed...

The extensive, three-wing facility is surrounded by a large park with remnants of the trench and Walling. The castle is a listed building. It was first mentioned in 1292 as part of the border fortifications against the Magyars. In 1756 it was acquired by the counts of Batthyany and after 1810 the classical palace was built. In the crackdown on the revolution in Hungary in 1849, it served as a military hospital. After the death of the childless Prince Philip in 1870, the decline continued. In the vacant castle a sanatorium for lung patients was briefly established. Since 1939, the palace is empty and is left to decay. 

Once there was a Chinese Room and a hall with romantic landscape paintings (some of the painted mythological scenes and zodiac signs are still visible). The exquisite wallpaper of the Chinese Room were brought to Schloss Laxenburg (an Imperial Residence of the Habsburgs). The ceiling of the ballroom on the first floor of the central projection is collapsed. The specially made furniture is completely gone. The huge park surrounding the castle is now completely overgrown.

If anything has changed in the last five years at all it is that the palace has fallen into disrepair even more. And somehow I have the feeling that if the new owner don’t hurry up with the restoration the whole building will fall down over his head…

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