Beckov Castle

Beckov Castle (Slovak: Beckovský hrad/Beckov; Hungarian: Beckói vár) is a castle in ruins located near the village of Beckov in Nové Mesto nad Váhom District, Trenčín Region, western Slovakia.

It is a natural cultural monument and its present appearance is the result of renovations in the last quarter of the twentieth century and since 2002.

Contents

  • 1 Name
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 Great Moravia–1388
    • 2.2 1388–1437
    • 2.3 1437–1729
    • 2.4 20th century
  • 3 Description
    • 3.1 Jewish Cemetery
  • 4 Legend of Becko, the jester
  • 5 Gallery
    • 5.1 Photos of the castle
    • 5.2 Arts
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Name

The original name of the castle was Blundix (Latin version). The name was derived from Slavic "Bludište" reflecting the difficult terrain in the area (blúdiť - to wander, in the modern Slovak language bludište/bludisko - a maze). Later, the name of the neighbouring village Beckov was adopted also as the name of the castle.

History

Beckov Castle panorama from the south

Great Moravia–1388

The Beckov Cliff is a klippe of the Hronic nappe well exposed by the Váh River. The castle is situated on the cliff near the river, and was used as a strategic outpost in Great Moravia. A stone castle was built there to protect the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary, probably in the middle of the 13th century. The castle became property of Matthew III Csák at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries and was fortified under his rule. After his death in 1321, the castle was administered by castellans. Louis I of Hungary gave the castle to Miklós Bánffy in 1379 as a reward for his service in battles in the Balkans and Italy.

1388–1437

Castle from the southeast; limestone klippe below

In 1388, the castle was given by Sigismund, King of Hungary to Stibor of Stiboricz of the Clan of Ostoja, a Lord of Polish origin. Stibor was one of king's most influential advisors and in control of significant part of Northern Hungary (today, Slovakia). Of 31 Castles that was in possession of Stibor, he chose Beckov as his home, giving the Castle special care. He rebuilt the castle into his family seat in the Gothic style. Artists from Venetia, Poland, Germany and Bohemia were working on to make Beckov an outstanding place. Stibor also built a chapel with splendid sculpture decorations and paintings including sculpture of Black Madona which was considered as one of the most beautiful in Europe at that time. In entrance to the chapel, there was a family coat of arms made of stone.

After Stibor's death in 1414, the castle was inherited by his son, Stibor Stiboric of Beckov. Because Stibor Stiboric of Beckov did not have a son, he bequeathed the property to his daughter Katarína (Katherine). However, the royal council decided that she would receive only the customary one fourth of her father's property paid out in cash. The castle was given to Pál Bánffy by Sigismund in 1437, one day before Sigismund's death, probably under the condition that he would marry Katarína, which was fulfilled.

1437–1729

After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, where the Kingdom of Hungary was defeated by the Ottoman Empire, the Bánffy family rebuilt the castle into a Renaissance fortress and noble seat. One of the Bánffys, János Bánffy, was killed fighting against the Turks in 1595. The castle was successfully defended against a Tatar siege in 1599. The Bánffy family owned the castle until 1646, when its last member, Kristóf Bánffy, died.

Following the death of Kristóf Bánffy, Beckov castle was gradually turned into a prison and barracks. In 1729, a fire destroyed the interior and roofs of the castle and turned it into ruins.

20th century

The castle was p... ...read more

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