Katarínka was a Franciscan monastery and church dating back to the early 17th century, located deep in the forests of the Little Carpathian Mountains in western Slovakia. The church was dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and that is where the nickname of the place Katarínka comes from.
First Gothic chapel was made of stone on the site in the late 1400s. The monastery was established in 1618 when count Krištof Erdödy, the domain owner, issued the foundation document establishing a Franciscan monastery on this site. In 1645 St Catherine’s monastery was plundered and set on fire during an armed rebellion of the Hungarian nobility. In 1663 monastery was attacked again first by the Turks, later on by emperor’s army. The soldiers killed noblemen who were seeking refuge from persecution at St Catherine’s. In 1683 another raid carried out on the monastery by the troops of Imrich Tököly.
In 1701 Juraj and Krištof II Erdödi issued a deed of gift of 500 ducats for the church’s maintenance. In the 18th century numerous donors also gave large gifts to the monastery. Families of noble origin built their crypts on this site (e.g.Erdödi, Apponyi, Labšanskí). In 1786 Joseph II Emperor’s decree abolished St Catherine’s monastery as “useless”, together with 738 monasteries in the empire, which did not take care of the poor or educate the youth and in 1787 it was transferred to state control. Valuable equipment and inventory were step by step moved to surrounding churches and monasteries, many of these were spontaneously stolen or lost forever.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.