PERMANENT COLLECTION - Dég Festetics Mansion

Festetics Mansion, Dég

The former Festetics estate boasts one of the largest English parks in Europe, a neoclassical mansion designed by Mihály Pollack, as well as buildings of unique aesthetic value and function.

Dég Mansion park, which was commissioned by Antal Festetics in the early 1820s and is situated on a gentle slope at the meeting point of three streams, is one of Hungary’s most magnificent and expansive English landscape gardens. Its picturesque, mile-long fishing lake is the longest of all the lakes in Hungarian parks.

Exhibition

Themed exhibition spaces have been set up in the mansion, where visitors, through interactive elements and on-site learning sessions, can learn about the history of Freemasonry and its Hungarian aspects, the flora of the park, the life of the Festetics family, the construction history of the mansion and the work of its architect, Mihály Pollack. The family had a keen interest in botany, and it was their passion that led to the development of the English landscape park, which is unique in Europe due to its large number of ancient trees and other plant species. An authentic Kossuth herb storage cabinet displayed as part of the exhibition comprises some of the most fascinating herbarium sheets from Hungarian botanical collections from the first half of the 19th century, including plants collected in Dég.

In the ground-floor exhibition area, the diverse history of the Festetics family, as well as their historical role, hobbies, leisure and sporting activities are brought to life. Numerous original objects have been returned to the cabinets in the library.

An exhibition of Freemasonry has been arranged on the first floor, where visitors can take part in an initiation ceremony of the secret society, with the help and use of various interactive tools.

The mansion:

The mansion itself, close to the park entrance and car parks, awaits visitors with a reception area, service facilities and solo exhibitions.

Ground floor:

As you enter the building, you arrive in the well-designed reception area of the central portico. The ticket desk is situated in the foyer, followed by a central café area. From this space, you can access the English park, the covered garden portico terrace, and the room that introduces the mansion complex; this is also the room where the two main themed ticketed exhibitions begin.

The spatial sequence of the enfilade houses a ticketed exhibition.

Basement:

The basement portico contains a spacious, representative sanitary facility and a cloakroom.

1st floor:

Ascending the steps, you reach a public reception area. This area provides access to a guided exhibition (on Freemasonry) as well as a children’s playground and the on-site learning activity area.

 

Exhibition:                                             

  • The exhibition on Freemasonry: The mansion has several links to the Masonic movement: it housed the secret archives of Hungarian Freemasons for more than a century and its commissioner of construction, Antal Festetics, was himself a Freemason.
  • Visitors can participate in an interactive initiation ceremony with visual and audio effects on the first floor.
  • The exhibition concept presents a comprehensive picture of the Masonic movement, from its origins in England through the many characteristics of Freemasonry in Europe and the rest of the world.
  • The history of the mansion, the Festetics family and the aristocratic life in the Dég:

In the ground-floor exhibition area, the history of the Festetics family, as well as their everyday lives, hobbies, leisure and sporting activities are brought to life.

 

The Dutch House

Exhibition:        

  • Medicinal misconceptions
  • The Hollandi (Dutch) House, situated on an island in the Serpentine Lake at the edge of the mansion park, is an emblematic structure of the mansion complex. Following redevelopment, its original use was reinstated (cows on the ground floor and the countess with lung disease being cured in the ammonia steam upstairs).

Mansion park:

  • The theme of botany has been covered
  • Restoration of the former gravel parterre, the trellis and the tennis court
  • To evoke the active sports life (football, tennis, etc.) of the Festetics family, you can try out period sports equipment in the park (even wearing a period attire).
Széchenyi ikon