In 1536 Louis X, Duke of Bavaria laid the foundation stone for a new residence in the inner city of Landshut. It was begun in German Renaissance style under the architect Bernhard Zwitzel from Augsburg. During a journey to Italy the duke got the inspiration for an additional palace.
Behind the German building, close to the river Isar, the so-called 'Italian building' was constructed from 1537 to 1543 in Italian Renaissance style with a spacious courtyard and the palace chapel. It was modeled in particular after the Palazzo Te in Mantua, and was the first Italian style palace erected north of the Alps. Both buildings were connected by two wings. The paintings in the rooms were created by the Germans Hermanus Posthumus, Hans Bocksberger the Elder and Ludwig Refinger, while the stucco was done by Italian artists.
When Count William of Birkenfeld-Gellnhausen, who became later the first Duke in Bavaria, resided in the palace from 1780 onwards the facade of the German building was altered in French Neo-classical style and the so-called 'Birkenfeld Rooms' were constructed. These rooms were decorated again with early wallpaper, when Crown Prince Ludwig lived here in the early 19th century, in the course of his studies in Landshut. These rooms are today a part of the Residence Museum, together with the halls of the Italian building.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.