The Festetics Family was one of the most significant ducal families in Hungary. The family, who was of Croatian origin, moved to Hungary in the 17th century. In 1739 Christopher Festetics bought the Keszthely estate and its appurtenances, and chose it to be the centre of his estates. He had the palace built, brought a surgeon and craftsmen to the town, and set up a pharmacy and a hospital.
The Festetics Palace in Keszthely is the third Hungarian palace in size, while it is the most popular with visitors. It functions as a museum and an events centre.
The building is surrounded by a nature reserve park. The sights in the park include trees that are hundreds of years old, colourful flowerbeds, fountains, statues – among them the full-figure bronze statue of George Festetics I –, the garden pond and the fountain decorated with lions. The palm house and the former coach house with the coach exhibition can be found in the park, while the new building of the hunting exhibition and the historical model railway exhibition is opposite the back gate of the park.