The Royal Villa (Villa Reale) lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the large Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. It was originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780, when Lombardy was part of Austrian Empire, for the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.
Following the establishment of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the building was used as a Royal Palace and became home to the Viceroy of Italy, Eugène de Beauharnais. With the fall of the First Empire (1815), Austria annexed the Italian territories to the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Monza being included in the province of Milan.
In 1861, when the new Kingdom of Italy was established, the building became a palace of the Italian Royal Family of Savoia. The Royal Villa was abandoned by the royal family in 1900, after the murder of King Humbert I near the entrance as he returned from an event.
The palace complex includes the Royal Chapel, the Cavallerizza (horse-shed), the Rotonda dell'Appiani, the Teatrino di Corte ('Small Court Theatre') and the Orangerie. The rooms at the first floor include grand salons and halls, and the Royal apartments of King Humbert I of Italy and of Queen Margherita of Savoy. In front of the palace are the Royal gardens, designed by Piermarini as English landscape gardens.
In the first floorthere are the reception roomsand the apartments of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.The front of villa facing east opens to English Gardens designed by Piermarini.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.