St. Michael's church in Aachen was built for the Jesuit Collegium in 1617-1628 and is now a church of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany.
With the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in September 1773 the church was closed and converted into a granary during the French period, later it was used as a parish church. In 1987 the Greek Orthodox community of St. Dimitrios which was found in 1963 purchased the building. Beside Orthodox services also ecumenical services are held in it. Recently, due to its good acoustics and location the church enjoys an increasingly popularity by choirs and orchestras.
The three-galleried basilica was built between 1617 and 1628, and the tower between 1658 and 1668 which this is oriented to the northwest and is located at the front of the choir. The building is stylistically attributed to the Rhine mannerism. Due to the many similarities of the design and the execution of both the Jesuit church in Molsheim and Church of the Assumption in Cologne the church is attributed to the Baroque architect Christoph Wamser. However, the vertically structured facade of the Renaissance-building remained unfinished until 1891 when the historistic architect Peter Friedrich Peters added some parts. In the niches there were once small statues, but they were stolen a few years later. The now empty niches are illuminated today. During the Second World War the building was badly damaged, the reconstruction of simplified roof was held until 1951. Orthodox paintings in the interior were added in 1997 and 2002 by the artist Christophanis Voutsinas.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.