Uppsala Castle is a 16th century royal castle in the historical city of Uppsala. Throughout much of its early history, the castle played a major role in the history of Sweden. It was built during the time Sweden was on its way to become a great power in Europe.
King Gustav Vasa began construction of Uppsala Castle in 1549. Kings Erik XIV, John III and Charles IX all remodeled and expanded the citadel into a representative renaissance palace. During Erik XIV's reign, the castle was the site of the Sture Murders, where several famous noblemen (among them three members of the influential Sture family) were killed. In 1630, King Gustavus II Adolphus announced the decision that Sweden should participate in the Thirty Years' War. It was in the castle that the Swedish government announced the abdication of Queen Kristina in 1654.
Uppsala Castle was seriously damaged by fire in 1702, being reduced essentially to a ruin. Reconstruction took many years and was indeed hampered by the remains of the castle being used as a quarry for stone to be used in building Stockholm Palace.
Uppsala Castle was the administrative center of Uppland and the site of the Hall of State (Rikssalen) for many years. Uppsala Castle is the residence of the County Governor of Uppsala County. Dag Hammarskjöld, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, spent his childhood days in the castle when his father, Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, was governor of Uppsala County. Today, the castle is also the site of the Uppsala Art Museum.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.