Katarina kyrka (Church of Catherine) was originally constructed in 1656–1695. It has been rebuilt twice after being destroyed by fires, the second time during the 1990s. The Katarina-Sofia borough is named after theparish and the neighbouring parish of Sofia.
Construction of the church started during the reign of Charles X of Sweden, and the church is named after Princess Catherine, mother of the king, wife of John Casimir, Palsgrave of Pfalz-Zweibrücken and half-sister of Gustavus Adolphus. The original architect was Jean de la Vallée. The construction was severely delayed due to shortage of funds.
In 1723 the church, together with half of the buildings in the parish, was completely destroyed in a major fire. Rebuilding started almost immediately, under supervision of Göran Josua Adelcrantz, the city architect, who designed a larger, octagonal tower.
May 17, 1990, the church burned down again. Almost nothing but the external walls remained. Architect Ove Hidemark was responsible for rebuilding the church, which was reopened in 1995. The new organ was built by J. L. van den Heuvel Orgelbouw in the Netherlands.
Several famous Swedes are buried in the cemetery surrounding the church, most notable the assassinated Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, nationally popular Dutch-Swedish singer Cornelis Vreeswijk and Sten Sture the Elder.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.