The Fuggerhäuser (Fugger houses) is a complex of houses built for the Fugger family of businessmen. From 1512 to 1515 Jakob Fugger the Younger built two linked houses on the Via Claudia (now Maximilianstraße) near the wine market, one as a town-house and the other as a warehouse. He designed them himself, based on notes he had taken on his travels in Italy. The secular building was the first Renaissance style building constructed north of the Alps. He bought other neighbouring houses from 1517 onwards and integrated them into the complex.
The outer facade, one of the longest on Maximilianstraße, showed the Fugger family riches, since there was a tax paid according to the length of a house's facade. Inside the complex Jakob created four courtyards with arcades, mosaics, tuscan marble and water basins. The Damenhof, with its Tuscan columns supporting arcades and painted arches, was designed as a family garden for female members of the family. The Zofenhof opens off the Damenhof, whilst the third and fourth courtyard (the Serenadenhof and Reiterhof) about each other at the back of the building. Larger teams of horses could enter the complex through a high and wide gate - the Adlertor (Eagle Gate) - and leave through another on the Reiterhof.
After being destroyed in the Second World War, the complex was rebuilt in 1951 by Carl Fürst Fugger-Babenhausen. The front facade used to feature a fresco by Hans Burgkmair, which was destroyed in the Second World War and replaced by a new livery. Plaques there recall the Fugger business empire and the events of 1518, when Martin Luther was interrogated by Thomas Cajetan in the Fuggerhäuser. In the middle of the facade is the Adlertor, which indicates that the Fuggerhäuser was an imperial residence - this gate now leads to the headquarters of the Fürst Fugger Privatbank.
The building is closed to the public, other than three of the inner courtyards and a three-naved hall on the ground floor of the Adlertor, which houses a bookshop at #37 Maximillianstrasse, visitors to the shop can look onto the Damenhof. On the north side of the Damenhof and Serenadenhof is the white bay window into the quarters occupied by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. A Fugger coat of arms features on the back facade of the Fuggerhäuser on Zeugplatz. The Fugger concert hall was probably in this area - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played a concert in that hall in 1777.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.