Bubikon Castle (Ritterhaus Bubikon) is a former commandery, a medieval monastery of the Knights Hospitaller. Assumably in compensation of claims related to the Alt-Rapperswil lands and rights, a change of goods occurred between the Counts of Toggenburg and Counts of Rapperswil probably in the early 1190s. To end the disputes about the legacy, the Knights Hospitaller abbey and commandry was given by Diethelm V von Toggenburg and Vogt Rudolf von Rapperswil between 1191 and 1198 AD. Although in concurrency to the neighbouring Rüti Abbey, the commandery's lands and goods grew with donations by local noble families during the 13th and 14th centuries – at the height of their power, the commandry owned land all over the present canton of Zürich.
The commandry's inhabitants was granted Burgrecht by the neighbouring town of Rapperswil, later by the city of Zürich. During the Reformation in Zürich and the riots in the Herrschaft Grüningen against the feudal owners of the lands cultivated by the farmers and their families, Johannes Stumpf, the commander of the commandry at the time, supported its secularization and those of the neighbouring Rüti Abbey in spring 1525. The lands partially became the property of the city of Zürich when the convent was secularized in 1528 (convent) respectively 1798 (commandry).
The Ritterhaus building complex consists of the commander's house, the rectory, the Schütte and Sennhaus buildings, the so-called Bruderhaus being the oldest building, the 12th-century chapel of St. John the Baptist (dated 1192 AD), as well as the adjacent farm and economic buildings. The brothers’ house (Bruderhaus) and the chapel are the oldest buildings of the commandery and were probably built in the early 1190s, assumably incorporating an older building (maybe a chapel) that was built by the Toggenburg family. The 14th-century Romanesque nave of the chapel was expanded by a Gothic chancel that was destroyed in 1819. The remains of Romanesque mural paintings date back to the first half of the 13th century. They illustrate the foundation of the commonly named Ritterhaus building complex by the Toggenburg and Rapperswil families, and display scenes of the live of Saint John the Baptist.
The chapel was desecrated and secularised during the Reformation in Zürich. The main building (Haupthaus), serving as the commander's house and administration complex, and the adjacent wing (Ritterhausflügel) were added between the 13th and 15th century; after the Reformation it was the seat of the local governor, a city council member from Zürich. The representative rooms were used for official purposes, and therefore richly decorated in the Renaissance style in 1570. At the same time, the coats of arms of the Knights of Malta was painted onto the façade towards the courtyard. The servants' house was built around 1480 and rebuilt in 1570 for the purpose of the production of cheese.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.