The Benedictine Skalka Abbey was founded by Jakub I. in Skalka, in 1224, to commemorate St. Svorad-Andrew and Beňadik. Jakub built a monastery near the cave where St. Beňadik was slain and later a church on the rock from which his body was thrown into the Váh river. King Béla IV annexed a village called Geszte (today’s Opatová) to the abbey in 1238. The monastery grew in significance and soon became the spiritual centre of the Považie (river Váh) region.
The monastery’s development was interrupted by invasion of the Tartars in 1241. In late June, their northern hoards, defeated by the Czech king Václav I., massively fled to the old Hungary through the Vlársky mountain pass. They would plunder villages and towns with fire and sword, which also affected the monastery. In the years 1300-1321, life of the local people and of the monastery felt the iron fist of Matthew the Czak. The following period of a hundred years between 1321 and 1421 passed calmly, and nobody would disturb the godly life of the monks. They preached the word of god and did missionary work. In 1421 came the Hussite armies, with the rich Skalka standing in their way. The monastery would change various owners in the period of 1528 to 1545.
Jesuits came to Skalka in 1665 and started the haydays of the monastery In 1667 they began to reconstruct the monastery and the adjoining buildings, and built a calvary. The Jesuits were advocates of a new style used in arts – Baroque. Their gardens would have the most appealing kinds of fruit that was precious and known in the region of Považie, and beyond the Morava River as well. In 1713 they built a stove to dry plums and other fruits. They even had their own breeding fruit orchards. Behind gardens were mountains where the flocks of the best sheep were bred for high quality wool. The monks had fisheries; they even built a cellar to preserve ice. It was in 1722 when the monks dug a well in front of the monastery.
The Pope Clement XIV put the Jesuit order to an end on July 21, 1773. Monastery at Skalka thus lost much of its former significance and began to fall apart. Today, the only things remaining of the original monastery are the ruins.References:
The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.
On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.
Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.
In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.