Sztum Castle was built between 1326-1331. It functioned as a bridge-head protection the Malbork fortress from the South. At that time a stone and brick wall with a gate and one or possibly two corner towers surrounded the territory of the castle hill.
The extension of the castle complex carried out in the 14th century was commenced starting from the southern and eastern wings. The wing that functioned as a summer residence of Grand Master was built in the years 1416-1418 at the Western wing. Not considering shorter breaks, the castle in Sztum was under the control of the Teutonic Knights" Order until 1466 when it had to be passed to Poland in consequence of the Torurn Peace Treaty and became the residence of Polish starosts for many year. In the period 1530-1624 the castle was considerably redesigned, which consisted mainly in constructing new charring buildings on the castle grounds.
The castle was destroyed after the Swedish invasion and rebuilt in the years 1660-1664. As a result of the next destruction after the fire of the city in 1683 and the third PolishSwedish war, all the roofs of the castle towers were burnt apart from the one covering the gate tower.In 1772 Sztum found itself again under the German control and the castle became the seat of the Prussian Treasury Management and since the beginning of the 19th century the location of the District Court. After 1776 and in the years 1812, 1819, 1864-1866 and 1899 a systematic demolition of the castle wall and the rebuilding of the wings was the case.
The overhaul works were significantly limited in 1929 when only ruined parts were renovated and the entrance gate was partly reconstructed. After 1945 District Court found its location in a preserved, 19th century part of the castle, whereas the southern wing was divided in flats.
The Historic Museum of Powisle situated in the southern wing in 1968 was closed at the beginning of the 80"s because of the overhaul works undertaken in the southern part of the castle The said have not been finished until present day. The council of the city and commune of Sztum adopted a resolution to develop and manage the area of the Castle Hill. Nowadays, historic dances, staging some events, archery, cross-bow shows, as well as presentations given by foot knights who fight with various types of medieval weapon remind the inhabitants and numerous tourists about the eventful history of the city. Tournaments, knightly tourneys, pleinair painting and major celebrations connected with the Days of the Sztum District are held in or at the foot of the castle.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.