The Arch of Augustus was erected in 25 BC on the occasion of the Roman victory over the Salassi and was the work of Aulus Terentius Varro Murena.
Constructed from conglomerate, the arch has a single vault, with a height to the keystone of 11.4 metres. Its span is a barrel vault, constituting an extension in width of a round arch. In the monument, various styles can be recognised: The ten engaged columns which decorate its facade and its sides culminate in Corinthian capitals, while the entablature, adorned with metopes and triglyphs, is of the Doric order.
During the twelfth century, the arch contained the home of a local noble family and in 1318 a small fortification was built inside it, designed for a corps of crossbowmen. In 1716, because of the numerous leaks that were compromising the integrity of the monument, the attic that previously crowned the arch was replaced with a slate roof.
The arch's modern appearance is the result of a final intervention for restoration and consolidation which occurred in 1912 under the direction of Ernesto Schiaparelli.
The wooden crucifix displayed below the vault is a copy of the one which was placed there in 1449 as a votive offering against the flooding of the river Buthier, which flows a little to the east. The original crucifix is now housed in the Museum of Aosta Cathedral's Treasures.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.