Wilten Abbey Basilica is the most beautiful Rococo church in Austria and enjoys a rich history. It’s one of two large churches in Wilten, alongside Premonstratensian Abbey, and is also home to the famous Wilten Boys’ Choir. According to legend, this has been a place of worship for many years: Roman Legionnaires are believed to have worshipped a unique Madonna on this site hundreds of years ago, when it was still known as “Veldidena”. This legend is supported by remains of an early Christian church found under the Abbey that date back to the 5th century. And you can clearly feel that the Marian devotion continues here to this day. Numerous visitors still come to Wilten Abbey – many to see the late Gothic figure of “Our Lady under the Four Columns” displayed on the ciborium altar.
The historic church was completely restored in the mid-18th century by clergyman and building dilettante Franz de Paula Penz. The unique air of beauty and elegance in the church was largely shaped by Bavarian artists, fresco painter Mathias Günther and stucco plasterers Feichtmayr from Wessobrunn. The subtle colours celebrate gentle beauty in the light-filled space and are completed with simple and elegant rocaille stucco, reflecting the classic elegance of the Rococo period and making this a truly unique place to visit.
The church is open for viewings anytime, except during church services.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.