The Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic church in the Maltese capital Valletta and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the entire city of Valletta.
The first church was dedicated to the Annunciation. It was built around 1570 on the designs of Girolamo Cassar. In the 17th century it was given to the Carmelites and thus received its present patronage to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The façade was redesigned in 1852 by Giuseppe Bonavia. On May 14, 1895 by Pope Leo XIII elevated the church to the rank of Minor Basilica. The church was seriously damaged during the Second World War and it had to be rebuilt.
The new church was built from 1958 to 1981. It was consecrated in 1981. The 42 meter high oval dome dominates both the city skyline and Marsamxett Harbour. It is higher than the steeple of the immediately adjacent Anglican Cathedral in Valletta. The main attraction in the interior is a painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel dating from the early 17th century. The interior has been sculpted by the sculptor Joseph Damato over 19 years. Striking are the columns of red marble.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.