The town walls of Wieluń was erected during the reign of Casimir the Great, probably around the middle of the 14th century as part of the reconstruction of the town after the fire of 1335. Their sponsor was probably the king. In the 15th century the town walls were renovated and probably expanded. The need to maintain the fortifications in high efficiency was due to the threat from Silesia. Around the middle of the century Wieluń was attacked several times, with the last invasion of Janusz of Oświecim in 1457, ended with the capture and burning of the town. The town walls and the castle, which were destroyed, were then repaired.
Further serious modernization of fortifications occurred in the 16th century and a third town gate was built. Works continued during the reign of Stefan Batory, who for the remodeling of the walls. During the war of succession for the crown between Austrian Maximilian and the supporters of Zygmunt III in 1587 defense walls suffered, among others the fragment of the wall and the Dąbrowska gate was destroyed. Damages were repaired immediately and were not limited to repairs of existing components, but also included extensive redevelopment and construction of new defenses. Battlement and arrowslits in the defensive wall were repaired, towers roofs were made, and the two main gates were repaired. In 1591 the tower of the Rudzka Gate was finally erected in the form of a octagon. It is also known about the construction of two new towers. This modernization was the last extension of the fortifications of Wieluń. Since then, there has been a recession.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Bernardines settled in the southwestern part of the town. The church and monastery buildings were excluded from the defense and separated from the rest of the town wall. The weakening of the fortifications was also a knock off of the wicket gates in the northern part of the perimeter. The final blows of the town fortifications were carried out by the Swedish wars, and the first planned demolition of fortifications took place in 1823. After the last war significant parts of the walls of Wieluń have been preserved.
The Rudzka Gate, located in the eastern part of the circuit, was incorporated into the town hall building in 1842, while adjacent to both sides the sections of the walls formed its eastern and outer wall. Approximately 30 meters north of the Rudzka Gate, a fragment of the half-rounded tower preserved. The relics of the walls go in parallel and perpendicular to the line of the defensive wall. These are the remnants of a powder house, adjoining from the outside to the fortifications. The second object at this section is the massive tower located at the bend of the fortification line, in the north-eastern part of the perimeter. In the northern part of the district, at Palestrancka 9 street, a semi-circular artillery tower with an adjacent section of the wall of approximately 10 meters long has survived. Another part of the stone wall survives in the south-west part of the fortifications, as an external wall of the buildings of the former Bernardine monastery.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.