The history of the Gołuchów castle goes back to the Middle Ages and its first known owner was ¯egota of Gołuchów (1263-1282). A defensive fort stood here in the first half of the 15th century, probably where the castle stands today. The terrain definitely provides for adequate defence. It overlooks the Trzemsza River from the west and is surrounded by a moat and a secure embankment.
The Gołuchów estates became the property of the Leszczyñski family in 1507. The work on the residence, which had progressed in stages from the early 16th century, was completed between 1600 and 1628. This was now one of the most magnificent renaissance castles in Poland. A graphic recreation of its appearance back then was made possible by 18th-century surveys and inventory measurements from 1850.
The castle consisted of a tower house with four octagonal towers in the corners, closing the premises from the north. The basement and three keeps (reconstructed during the 19th century) have been preserved. It may have been erected prior to 1507. There used to be another building on the southern side. The two wings, which centred around a small interior courtyard with an arcaded cloister, were joined by built-on porches. The sandstone door frames, main entrance portal and marble and stone chimney housings have survived from those days. There are accounts of richly carved doors, decorated floors and polychromed and carved ceilings.
The estate changed hands frequently from the end of the 17th century until the middle of the 19th. Jan Działyński, son of the owner of Kórnik, purchased Gołuchów in 1853 and set about improving the economy of Gołuchów and beautifying the park in front of the castle. Only necessary repairs were made to the residence itself.
The plans to restore the castle were worked out by the leading French architect and conservator Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. Work began on the castle in 1876 and continued for 10 years.
The castle has been part of the National Museum in Poznañ since 1952. The expansive 150 ha park, together with the remaining buildings, was acquired by the State Forests National Forest Holding, which opened a Forest Culture Centre here in 1974. The entire complex is now open to the public.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.