St. Martin's Cathedral in Eisenstadt was first mentioned 1264. From this chapel there are still remains of a Romanesque foundation in the area of the present choir. In the 13th century the chapel was extended by the addition of an early Gothic choir. In the 14th century a chapel for lay people was added. In 1460 the church was rebuilt under the town captain Johann Siebenhirter as a fortified or defensive church, as an attack by the Turks was expected after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Gothic building was finished in 1522. After the great fire of 1589 almost 30 years passed before construction of the severely damaged church took place, between 1610 and 1629.
In 1777 a large altarpiece by Stefan Dorffmeister was added, depicting 'The Transfiguration of St. Martin'. In the following year the Viennese organ builder Malleck installed an organ to instructions from Joseph Haydn.
After the creation of the Diocese of Eisenstadt, St. Martin's Church was elevated to the rank of cathedral in 1960. Saint Martin became the patron saint of the diocese and the Land. Under Bishop Stephan László in 1960 the interior and windows were renewed.
The cathedral is famous for its church music. Concerts of the annual Haydn Festival also take place here.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.