Cittadella is a medieval walled city founded in the 13th century as a military outpost of Padua. The surrounding wall has been restored and is 1,461 metres in circumference with a diameter of around 450 metres. There are four gates which roughly correspond the points of the compass.
The town was founded in 1220 by the Paduans to counterbalance the fortification of Castelfranco. It was built in successive stages in a polygonal shape on orthogonal axes through the construction of 32 large and small towers, with the formation of a protective moat and with four drawbridges next to the four entrance gates.
Its walls, 14 to 16 metres tall, were built with the 'box masonry': two parallel walls filled with a sturdy core of stones and hot slaked lime totaling a thickness of about 2.10 metres.
The walls today are all intact except for a stretch destroyed in the 16th century during the Cambrai war, and the skilled detail of the construction are still easily visible. It has as many as seven different construction techniques characterized by the alteration of courses in brick and those in river rocks mixed with brick can be recognized.
Among the elements of interest, the Rocca di Porta Bassano still retains the defense apparatus of the keep and entrance gates. The Casa del Capitano (Captain's House) is found inside the Rocca (Fortress). Restoration has uncovered frescoes dating to the period of the Carraresi, Malatesta, Sanseverino and Borromeo families. They hand down an out-and-out historical account of the events that occurred between 1260 and 1600, almost replacing written documents.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.