Saint James' church was founded for German inhabitants who lived in this part of Brno in the 13th century. There is visible the painted heraldry of mother superior from Oslavany Cistercian monastery with the date 1220 on the vault of the presbytery. This date recalls the consecration of the smaller Romanesque church that once stood here before this late Gothic St. James's church and it used to serve Flemish and German colonists.
In 1368–1405, some chapels were built around the church and these chapels created a unique urbanistic complex. The oldest one was Saint Morris's chapel from the year 1352. Late Gothic construction of the parish church started with building up the choir in 1446. In 1515 the finished presbytery was affected by the fire that caused the roof to fall in and it subsequently destroyed all altars. The new main altar was consecrated in 1516. The building of the churchtower started in the 1520s.
The Baroque interior style was done in 1750-1766. During this rebuilding the older wooden altars were removed and replaced by new marble ones which are still there. In 1871 – 1879 the church was radically reconstructed into the Gothic Revival style led by Heinrich Ferstel.
In 2001, archeological exploration revealed the size of Brno Ossuary, an ossuary underneath the square by the church, which is estimated to contain the remains of 50,000 people.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.