Kärkna Abbey, now ruined, was a former Cistercian monastery in Estonia. The monastery was founded before 1233 by the Bishop of Dorpat, Hermann von Buxhoeveden, and settled by monks from Pforta Abbey, of the filiation of Morimond. An early destruction by heathen inhabitants of the district is mentioned in 1234. After attacks by Russian forces from the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal and the Novgorod Republic it was rebuilt in about 1240 as a fortress surrounded by a moat and a rectangular granite wall. In 1305 it was placed under Stolpe Abbey on the Peene in Pomerania, which had joined the Cistercian order the previous year. In August 1558 the monastery was destroyed at the beginning of the Livonian War. There are remains of the foundations and of the perimeter walls.
The rectangular church was about 47 metres long, and consisted of a single nave of five vaulted bays. Unusually for a Cistercian church it also had a crypt of 10 bays containing two aisles, which was used not only as a place of burial but also as a place of shelter during hostilities. To the south of the church were attached the conventual buildings in the usual form of three ranges arranged in a square round a cloister and a central courtyard, with the chapter house in the east range.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.