The Bovenkerk (also known as the Church of St. Nicholas) is a large Gothic church and the most striking element on the skyline of Kampen. The interior of the church contains an early-Renaissance choir screen, a stone pulpit and a monumental organ. The church has 1,250 seats. It is a Reformed church.
The construction of the church took place in several phases. The 12th century Romanesque church was modified as Early Gothic church in the late 1200s. The basilica choir was added in the last quarter of 14th century and the construction completed in the second half 15th century.
A common practice for old historic churches was to bury the dead under the Church. The Bovenkerk is no exception to this practice, where famous Dutch persons originating from Kampen are buried. One of them is Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634), one of the first landscape painters of the 17th-century Dutch school, specialized in painting the Netherlands in winter. The transept contains a small ornament of red marble with a green marble urn in memory of Vice Admiral Jan Willem de Winter (1761-1812). The heart of Vice Admiral De Winter is enclosed in this urn, while his body is buried in the Panthéon in Paris.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.