The Church of St. Adalbert is one of the oldest stone churches in Poland. The Church was built in the 11th century and named after the martyred missionary Saint Adalbert whose body was bought back for its weight in gold from the pagan Prussia and placed in Gniezno Cathedral by Boleslaus I of Poland. The interior of the church is cramped, relative to its larger exterior. The floor level is situated under the present level of the Square, which reflects the overlaying of the subsequent surfaces of the plaza with pavement originally adjusted to the two already existing churches (St. Wojciech/Adalbert and St. Mary's Basilica). The church was partially reconstructed in the Baroque style between 1611-1618.
According to the Archeological Museum of Kraków, the oldest relics reveal a wooden structure built at the end of the 10th century and followed by an original stone church constructed in the 11th century, as seen in the lower parts of the walls. These walls became a foundation for a new church built around the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries from smaller rectangular stones. Since the level of the plaza, overlaid with new pavement, rose between 2 to 2.6 meters, the walls of the church were raised up in the 17th century and then covered with stucco. The new entrance was built from the west side and the church was topped with the new Baroque dome. The restoration of the church conducted in the 19th century led to the discovery of its Romanesque past.
At present, the walls of the church are unearthed to show their lowest level. On the south side there's a Romanesque portal and corresponding stone step. The crypt of the church has been adapted by the Archeological Museum as a small Museum of the History of the Market Square showing a permanent exhibit of 'The History of the Kraków Market.'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.