The Nikolo-Vyazhishchskii Stavropegial Women's Monastery was founded in by the monks Efrosiny, Ignaty, and Galaktion and the hieromonk Pimen at the end of the 14th century (a charter from 1391 mentions it), with Pimen becoming the first hegumen of the monastery. It was first mentioned in the chronicle under the year 1411. The monastery was patronized by Archbishop Evfimy II (r. 1429-1458), who was hegumen of the monastery before his election as archbishop of Novgorod in 1429, and was buried there (he is known as St. Evfimy of Vyazhishche). His sarcophagus is now in the Church of St. Evfimy of Vyazhishche, built in 1685. The monastery was one of the greatest landowners in the Novgorodian land, holding in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, some 2,000 hectares of land. Much of its lands were confiscated during secularization under Catherine II (r.1762-1796) at which time it was classified a 2nd Class Monastery.
Following confiscation by the Soviets, the monastery was closed in 1920. It became part of a collective farm and the buildings were used to store yams, as well as a threshing floor, a forge, and a metalshop. From the 1950s, there were efforts to restore the monastery and it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1989. On March 31, 1990, then Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod Alexius (later the Patriarch of Moscow) reconsecrated the main church to St. Evfimy.
The convent has the status of a stauropegic monastery (as of a grant from the Holy Synod of 7 October 1995), that is, it is under the direct control of the Patriarch of Moscow rather than of the Archbishop of Novgorod. The current hegumenia is Antonia (Korneeva). There are at present some 15 nuns living at the monastery. Of four churches in the Monastery (St. Evfimy, St. Nicholas, St. John the Divine, and The Church of the Ascension), only one is now a working church, that of St. Evfimy. The rest are still 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.