Sisi Palace, Gödöllő
The Palace is one of the most important, largest monuments of Hungarian Palace architecture. Its builder, Count Antal Grassalkovich I (1694-1771) was a typical figure of the regrouping Hungarian aristocracy of the 18th century. He was a Royal Septemvir, president of the Hungarian Chamber, and confidant of Empress Maria Theresa (1740-1780). The construction began around 1733, under the direction of András Mayerhoffer (1690-1771) a Salzburg builder.
After the male side of the Grassalkovich family died out in 1841, the Palace had several owners, and in 1867 it was bought for the Crown. The decision of Parliament designated it the resting residence of the Hungarian Monarch. This state lasted until 1918, thus Francis Joseph (1867-1916) and later Charles IV and the royal family spent several months in Gödöllõ every year.
During this period the Palace became the symbol of independent Hungarian statehood, and, as a residential centre it had a political significance of it own. It was Empress Elisabeth (1837-1898) who specially loved staying in Gödöllõ, where the Hungarian personnel and neighbourhood of the Palace always warmly welcomed her. Following her tragic death, a memorial park adjoining the upper-garden was