The easternmost peaks of the Alps have been the natural border between the Latin, German and Slav worlds since time immemorial. Today, in a time of peace, they still speak the languages of these peoples and their valleys are places of friendship and cooperation.
Attracting pilgrims from three lands, the shrine of Monte Lussari, in the northeastern corner of Italy, is truly European and a symbol of this peaceful coexistence. According to ancient folklore, the sanctuary has its origins in 1360 following a series of miraculous events: a shepherd found sheep from his flock kneeling around a bush. With amazement, he realised that a statuette of the Virgin and Child was at the centre of the bush. The shepherd gave it to the priest of Camporosso, but the following morning, the statue was found on Lussari with the kneeling sheep surrounding it again. The event repeated itself a third time. Having been informed, the Patriarch of Aquileia ordered that a chapel be built on the spot.
There is no trace left of the original chapel; the current building is the result of the restoration and extension of a 16th Century building. The sanctuary is accessible by foot via the picturesque Sentiero del Pellegrino (Pilgrim’s Path) that winds through the forest of Tarvisio, or with the cable car from Camporosso.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.