The Württemberg Mausoleum is a memorial standing on the peak of Württemberg Hill at the westernmost end of Schurwald woods overlooking the Neckar river. The memorial was built for Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (1788–1819), the second wife of William I of Württemberg (1781–1864). The remains of William I and his daughter Maria Friederike Charlotte of Württemberg (1816–1887) are also housed in the mausoleum.
The mausoleum was built after the death of Queen Catherine between 1820 and 1824 based on a design drafted by Giovanni Salucci. The location on the former site of Wirtemberg castle was chosen as the home of the House of Württemberg.
Between 1825 and 1899 the mausoleum was used as a Russian Orthodox Church place of worship. The memorial is still used to this day for a Russian Orthodox service every Pentecost.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.