St. Peter's Church is the oldest of three town churches found in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, in northern Germany. It was built in the middle of the 14th century. The first reference to a church on this site is in 1252, which is thought to be the predecessor of the current building. The triple-nave basilica is in Brick Gothic, a building style typical of the Hanseatic port cities of northern Germany.
The pre-existing church had a tower 127m high which was destroyed by a thunderbolt in 1543. In 1578 the tower was rebuilt as a polygonal spire after it had been, once again, damaged by storm. With a height of 117m the tower served as a familiar landmark in the local area. In the following centuries the church decayed and in 1902 the Basilica was renovated. Forty years later, however, heavy bombing during World War II again damaged the church and led to the collapse of the polygonal spire.
Following the war, the building was gradually rebuilt. Today the church, roofed by a flat timber ceiling, reaches a height of 24m and in 1994 a glass window in the choir was built to a height of 17m. Public donations funded the building of a copper polygonal spire and this allowed St. Peter's to once again become a visible landmark in the surrounding area. Additionally, a 45m observation platform (accessed via steps and an elevator) provides fine views of the city of Rostock and the Baltic Sea.
The church is a three-nave Basilica with a high cross-vaulted ceiling in the west tower. On the north and south façade 4 times over are ever-alternating round arched arcades each with a large rectangular window. in the central aisle of the tower 3 high round arched arcades are on each side except the eastern side, where the tower joins the Basilica, at each of the four points there are 3 round-arched windows. The choir section is polygonal; at the north and south end is one small fiale with a pointed tip. The design of the dividing inner-wall exhibits the round-arched arcade design typical of Roman-Gothic style.
Prior to WWII damage, the arched gallery was open. However, it was only roughly rebuilt when reconstruction began. The light coming in from the large rectangular windows, flows over the gallery. The cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling that covers the northern end of the nave is preserved. However, the southern nave was too badly damaged to reconstruct the original. Also, the central nave couldn’t be restored, so instead a flat-timbered ceiling was put in place. The baroque decoration in the interior of the church was destroyed by fire during the WWII bombing of Rostock on the night of 26th and 27 April 1942. The stained glass windows of the choir are decorated with scenes from the life of St. Peter and were designed in the early 60s by local artist Lothar Mannewitz (1930–2004).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.