The 11th century wooden stronghold of Racibórz was rebuilt as a brick castle in the third quarter of the 13th century. Around 1290 a chapel was built in the castle with the significant dedication of Saint Thomas of Canterbury.
At present, its most valuable element is the castle chapel, due to its high artistic level called the pearl of Silesian gothic. Fortunately, the reconstructions from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries did not manage to change its Gothic interior, and the 19th-century matroneum placed on the site of the medieval one, neatly imitates the likely appearance of the original. The gables, western entrance portal and vault in the western bay of the chapel have also been transformed. Next to it is the palace wing. Recently renovated it is a place of cultural and entertainment events and a small museum.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.