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The Pálffys from the Red Stone Castle and Maria Theresa

The Red Stone Casle was an ancestral seat of renowned aristocratic family until 1945

The exhibition is another in a series of exhibitions of SNM museums, presented in its residential building in Bratislava. As with previous exhibitions of specialized museums of the Slovak National Museum, it is still not a general profile presentation of the museum and its collections, but a thematically specific exhibition.

The seat of the SNM – Červený Kameň Museum, Red Stone Castle, was the ancestral seat of the Pálffy family from the end of the 16th century until 1945. The collection, which was subsequently created here, consists of a wide range of collection items from the field of history, arts and crafts and fine arts of various origins and dating. The selected topic presents, through collection items, a specific excerpt from the history of the castle and the family with which this aristocratic residence is connected. However, the preserved objects are only fragments of the rich history of the genus. In order to enhance the representative character of the exhibition, the theme is set in a broader historical context and illustrates the connection of the Pálffy family with the royal court during the reign of Maria Theresa.


The exhibition consists of several topics that bring together specific members of the Pálffy family, Red Stone Castle and the manor in this period. In the 18th century, which marked a new era in the history of the Habsburg monarchy, the Pálffy family were an active part of political life. The dominants of the exhibition – portraits of members of the ruling dynasty and their contemporaries from the Pálffy family, well illustrate the social status of the family in this period but also the results of the effort to incline the Hungarian nobility to the side of the ruling court. After two brothers, the palatins Mikuláš (1657 – 1732) and Ján (1663 – 1751), the central figure in the exhibition is Mikuláš’s grandson Rudolf Pálffy (1719 – 1768), who continued the tradition of linking the family with the Viennese court. However, his life was significantly connected with the manor and the Red Stone Castle. In addition to the modifications of the building itself, this is well documented by several artifacts from its extensive collection of antiques and curiosities, as well as fragments of the library and dining sets.

The exhibition presents paintings and graphics by leading period portrait masters and their workshops (Johann Gottfried Auerbach, Rosalba Carrier, Johann Gottfried Haid, Martin van Meytens, Jakub Schmutzer) royal manufactory, a unique large-scale map of the Little Carpathians near the Red Stone, the Maria Theresa Mortuary from the estate of the Archbishop of Vienna Krištof Migazzi, the forbidden writings of the “Slovak Socrates” Adam František Kollár on the relationship of sovereign power to the church and many of SNM collections – Červený Kameň Museum.