A fort at the site of Itter castle was first mentioned in a 1241. The previous constructions may have existed since the 10th century. The Brixental originally was a possession of the Prince-Bishops of Regensburg; the castle was an administrative seat of the Counts of Ortenburg in their capacity as Vogt bailiffs, it also served to protect the Regensburg estates from incursions undertaken by the neighbouring Archbishops of Salzburg. Nevertheless, the Brixental was acquired by Salzburg in 1312 and in 1380 the Regensburg bishops finally sold Itter to Archbishop Pilgrim II of Salzburg.
The castle was devastated during the German Peasants' War in 1526. In the 17th century, the seat of the local administration was moved to Hopfgarten, whereafter the premises decayed. After 1805 the castle was left to citizens who used it as a quarry.
The present-day building was erected on the foundations of the former one from 1878 onwards. Itter Castle was purchased as a residence in 1884 by Sophie Menter, pianist, composer and student of Franz Liszt. Liszt himself as well as young Arthur Rubinstein stayed at the castle, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky orchestrated one of his compositions during a visit in 1892. Menter sold Itter Castle in 1902, it was again extensively remodeled in its present Tudor Revival style by later owners.
In 1943 Itter castle was transformed into a prison. Established to incarcerate prominent French prisoners valuable to the Reich, the facility was placed as a subcamp under the administration of the Dachau concentration camp.
After the war, the castle fell into disrepair until 1950 when Willi Woldrich acquired it and turned it into a luxury hotel. However, the hotel encountered financial problems and it was acquired by a holding company before it was sold to a private owner in 1985. Since that time, it has remained in private ownership and is not open to the public.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.