The city of Gizycko (Ger. Lötzen) was founded as a village surrounding the Teutonic Order's castle, built around 1340. The castle was built during the reign of Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode, located in a strategic position - on the isthmus between Lakes Niegocin and Kisajno. It was a dwelling with a rectangular courtyard, surrounded by a wall, and functioned as a residence of the Teutonic Order's prosecutor. The castle was destroyed during the attacks of Lithuanians led by Prince Kiejstut, but was rebuilt by the Teutonic Knights soon after. The Thirteen Years' War caused much damage to both the castle and the settlement. After the secularisation in 1525, the castle became the princely administrator's seat and was reconstructed in Renaissance style, during 1613-1614.
In the 17th century the castle became private property. The new owner added two wings (destroyed by fire in the same century) for administrative purposes, and a building with a small cylindrical tower, which was destroyed in 1945. In the 19th century, part of the castle was pulled down, and only one four-storey dwelling wing with a saddle roof and a cellar with cruciform vault were left. The castle has remained in this form until today. It hosted, among others, general Dabrowski and his officers in 1807. It was temporarily used to house the builders of the Gizycki Canal, and served also as the Fortress Boyen Commandant's quarters. Today the remnants of the castle are in bad condition and are not being restored.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.