The belfry of Namur, also called Saint-Jacob's Tower was constructed in 1388 as part of the city wall. It was remodeled as a belfry in 1746. It is one of the 56 belfries of Belgium and France classified as the World Heritage Site of the UNESCO.
In the beginning, one of the clocks of the Saint-Pierre-au-Château church served as belfry for the citizens of Namur, which is to indicate the time and to announce events in the city. After the destruction of the church, burned down during the siege of Namur in 1745, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the oldest of the three towers of the medieval city walls, became the city belfry. The Tour Saint-Jacques protected one of the city gates. Its bancloque (belfry clock) gave the signal for the opening and closure of the external city gates (from 1570 on).
At the beginning of the 18th century, the city wall was demolished but the Tour Saint-Jacques was preserved, restored and its clock was covered by an octagonal structure. This entire part was lifted upon a clock bulb. The Tour Saint-Jacques became Namur's city belfry in 1746.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.