Juval Castle (Italian Castel Juval) is located at the entrance of the Schnalstal valley. It derives its name from the Latin name of the mountain, Mons Jovis (mountain of Jupiter).
The oldest account of the castle dates to 1278, when it was owned by Hugo of Montalban. It was probably constructed about thirty years before the first account referencing it. In 1368, it was acquired by the lords of Starkenberg, and in 1540, it passed to Sinkmoser. The period from its construction to the mid 1500s was the castle's heyday.
After several more changes of ownership, in 1813, it was sold to a local farmer, Josef Blaas. The castle fell into disrepair, until in 1913 William Rowland carefully restored it.
Since 1983, it is the summer residence (July and August) of famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who has partially converted it into a museum displaying works of Tibetan art and a collection of masks from five continents. A later restoration of the castle was presided over by Vinschgau architect Karl Spitaler. It is one of the venues of the Messner Mountain Museum. The museum is closed in the summer months, when Messner resides in the castle.
Around the castle there is a path open to the public along which there are informational signs relating to the botanical features on the grounds. For private individuals, the castle is accessible only on foot with an hour-long walk or by using a special bus service.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.