Grevenburg castle was built in 1350 by Count Johann III of Sponheim-Starkenburg and replaced Castle Starkenburg as the residence of the Rear County of Sponheim. With the extinction of the ruling male line of the Rhenish branch of the House of Sponheim in 1437 the castle became seat of the bailiff of the new Counts to Sponheim.
In 1680 it was conquered by Louis XIV of France and was extended, together with the fort of Mont Royal in the horshoe bend of the Mosel north of the town of Traben-Trarbach as a part of the fortifications. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), in 1702 it was taken by the French under Taillardin and in 1704 on the express orders of the commanding officer John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough it was overpowered by Friedrich das Wehrschloss. The badly damaged castle was then occupied by the Dutch. In 1730 it was repaired by the Electorate of Trier for the defence of Koblenz and the Rhine river. In the War of the Polish Succession it was taken after three weeks' siege for the fourth and last time by the French who destroyed it in July 1734. The castle was blown up, huge chunks of it have plunged into the valley beneath.
Of the castle, although only the western wall of the former keep remains, the foundations are largely intact.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.