Dunfermline Palace is a ruined former Scottish royal palace and important tourist attraction in Dunfermline.
Dunfermline was a favourite residence of many Scottish monarchs. Documented history of royal residence there begins in the 11th century with Malcolm III who made it his capital. His seat was the nearby Malcolm's Tower, a few hundred yards to the west of the later palace. In the medieval period David II and James I of Scotland were both born at Dunfermline.
Dunfermline Palace is attached to the historic Dunfermline Abbey, occupying a site between the abbey and deep gorge to the south. It is connected to the former monastic residential quarters of the abbey via a gatehouse above a pend (or yett), one of Dunfermline's medieval gates. The building therefore occupies what was originally the guest house of the abbey. However, its remains largely reflect the form in which the building was remodelled by James IV around 1500.
James VI stayed at Dunfermline Palace in June 1585 to avoid the plague which raged in Edinburgh. He had a proclamation made to regulate the prices of food, drink, and lodgings for his courtiers in Dunfermline town. In 1589 the palace was given as a wedding present by the king to his bride Anne of Denmark.
Anne of Denmark had a new building built at the Palace completed in 1600, and known as the 'Queen's House', or 'Queen Anna of Denmark House'. This tall building had a driveway known as a 'pend' running through its basement level, replacing an earlier gateway. In November 1601 she prepared a lodging for her daughter Princess Elizabeth, but the princess remained at Linlithgow Palace on the king's orders. There was a steep stairwell outside Anne of Denmark's bed chamber, and in March 1602 the English courtier Roger Aston fell down it and was unconscious for three hours.
After the Union of Crowns in 1603, the removal of the Scottish court to London meant that the building came to be rarely visited by a monarch. Prince Charles stayed at Dunfermline for a year in the care of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline after his mother had gone to England. Dr Henry Atkins wrote from Dunfermline in July 1604 to Anna of Denmark, saying the Prince, who was slow to learn to walk, could now walk the length of the 'great chamber' or 'longest chamber' several times daily without a stick. Ten tapestries from the royal tapestry collection were still there in 1616, left from the time the infant Prince Charles resided at the Palace.
Charles I returned to Scotland in 1633 for his coronation but only made a brief visit to his place of birth. The last monarch to occupy the palace was Charles II who stayed at Dunfermline in 1650 just before the Battle of Pitreavie. Soon afterwards, during the Cromwellian occupation of Scotland, the building was abandoned and by 1708 it had been unroofed.
All that remains of the palace today is the kitchen, its cellars, and the impressive south wall with a commanding prospect over the Firth of Forth to the south.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.