Beckov Castle (Slovakia)
Trenčín Region See list of castles in Slovacchia
The picturesque area of central Povazie has been dominated by the Bečov limestone rock since time immemorial. With its majestic height of sixty meters, this has impressed the inhabitants since ancient times, and therefore it was very popular to build their settlements there. The continuous construction was also followed by our ancestors from the Great Moravian era, when a Slavic settlement was built on the rock. The defensive buildings, which arose in those days, formed the basis for a later castle, today called the name of the village below it - Beckov.
The Beckov Castle is a national cultural monument and it is a rich history. The first written records come from the reign of King Bela III of Hungary. An anonymous chronicler working in his court described the work of the Old Hungarian tribes during the invasion of Great Moravia, mentioning the occupation of Beckov Castle, then called Blundus. This name also corresponds to other written reports and agrees to later name the site Blondóc.
At the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries, royal power increased considerably in the country. The castle was reflected in his stone reconstruction. In particular, the upper castle and the northern palace were built. The length of the castle from this period was set at 100 m. At the end of the 13th century a bergfrit tower was built in the southeastern part of the upper castle.
Mr. Váh and Tatras
In the 14th century, the Hungarian magnate Matúš Čák Trenčínsky used the power vacuum. “Mr. Tatras and Váhu” was also intrigued by Beckov Castle, which has undergone extensive reconstruction to improve its defense. The parkan walls were built on the vulnerable eastern side of the castle, where the castle well was built. After Matthew's death, the castle again became a royal property, whose administrators took the title of castle castellan.
Golden era Stiborovská
In 1388 the castle was re-owned by nobility. Owing to his devotion to King Sigismund, the magnate of Polish origin Stibor of Stiborice became the owner of the castle. Stibor, also bearing the title of Duke of Transylvania, chose the castle as his family seat. At the same time, he invested his fabulous wealth in a majestic reconstruction.
In the northern castle area there was a splendid courtyard built according to the model of the royal courts. In addition, the rich and extensive mansion gained its castle chapel. The chapel was created in the eastern part of the palace. Its interior was decorated with high tracery windows and a unique straddling mesh ribbed vault. Until the 19th century the original frescoes were still visible. Figural motifs depicted St. George, Archangel Michael and John the Baptist. The magnificent inventory of the chapel was mainly the statue of the Madonna, made of precious limb wood. The reconstruction of the castle also affected its greatest landmark, the castle tower. It was converted into a donjon tower (permanent residential tower).
However, the Stibor family managed the castle only until 1434, when Stibor the son of Stibor the younger died. By his death, the male line of this important family died out and the castle became royal again.
The castle is fortified
Three years later King Sigismund donated the entire estate to Paul, the son of Bán of Lower Lendava, who became the husband of Catherine, daughter of Stibor the Younger. Their descendants, known as Bánfi, have been managing the castle for over 200 years. Members of this family rebuilt the residence in the Renaissance style. They also took care of the improvement and modernization of castle defense. A small barbacan and a pre-gate with a cradle bridge entered the access area. Such reconstructions saved the castle in 1599 during the Turkish invasion. However, the wild outcropping of the Ottoman invaders could not resist the town under the castle, which burned down. The Bánfi family in the castle, however, finally met the same fate as the Stibor family because they died out by the sword.
A jewel turned into a ruin
The owners of the castle became several heirs, which greatly reduced its lucrativity. This meant a decrease in interest in its maintenance. The castle became fatal for the castle in 1729, when a fire from the town was transferred to the castle and the castle as a residence settled for good.
The first amateur rescue work took place as early as 1935, when a roof was built on the chapel in an effort to save the remains of the brick decoration. Extensive reconstruction, but especially archaeological research, took place in the 1970s, which made the castle accessible to the general public.