The Accademia Carrara is an art gallery and an academy of fine arts in Bergamo. The origins of the art gallery lie with the Count Giacomo Carrara, a wealthy collector and patron of the arts, who left a generous legacy to the city of Bergamo at the end of the 18th century. After the Count's death, in 1796, his properties were managed by a nominated commissary until 1958, when the Comune di Bergamo took over direct supervision. In 1810, a new building in the neoclassical style was constructed, the project being undertaken by the architect Simone Elia, a pupil of Leopoldo Pollack.
The museum has continued to augment its collections both with purchases and donations. As of 2006, it possesses 1,800 paintings dating from the 15th to the 19th century, and by artists including Pisanello, Botticelli, Bellini, Carpaccio, Mantegna, Raphael, Moroni, Baschenis, Fra Galgario, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Piccio.
Besides paintings, there are drawings and prints, bronzes and sculptures, as well as collections of porcelain, furniture and medals.
In 1793, at the same time as the public opening of his gallery, the Count Giacomo Carrara desired that drawing and painting courses be initiated in the same place. The school, which was located in the same building as the art gallery until 1912, now has its own premises nearby. Since 1988, it has been an officially recognized Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy).
In 1991, the modern art gallery Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMEC) was opened on the opposite side of the road in a partially restored 14th-century monastery that had previously been used as a barracks. Presently, it has ten exhibition halls, on three floors. Since the purchase of the Gianfranco and Luigia Spajani collection in June 1999 the permanent collections have contained works by Italian and foreign artists of the 20th century.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.