In the 12th century, a fortress was located at Breda. The city of Breda came into existence near the fortress. In 1350, the Duke of Brabant sold Breda to Jan II of Polanen (Baron of Breda). He reinforced the castle with four towers and a channel. His daughter Johanna of Polanen married in 1403 the German Duke Engelbert I of Nassau. Their son Jan IV of Nassau enlarged the castle.
Henry III of Nassau-Breda changed the castle into a Renaissance palace in 1536. He died in 1538 and his son René of Châlon finished the castle and built a chapel in 1540. René of Châlon died without any children and the castle became property of his German cousin, William I of Orange, during his battle with the Spanish, it had a military function again (Dutch revolt).
In 1667 the Treaty of Breda was signed by England, France and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. This ended the second English-Dutch war. Stadtholder - King William III of England rebuilt the castle between 1686 and 1695. But he and his successors did not stay much at the castle.
In the France time (18th century), the castle was a military barracks and military hospital. Between 1746 and 1748 it was the site of the Breda Peace Talks between Britain and France during the War of the Austrian Succession. The talks formed the foundation for the eventual peace settlement at Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
William I of the Netherlands placed at disposal of the Royal Military Academy in 1826. In this time, Thomas Vincidor built three wings and later William II built the fourth wing. The entrance gate is from the 16th century. Today Breda castle is used by Koninklijke Militaire Academie, the service academy for the Dutch Army and the Dutch Air Force.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.