Constructed for the Royal Virgilian Academy of Science and Arts (Accademia Virgiliana), the Teatro Bibiena di Mantova was designed in late Baroque or early Rococo style by Antonio Galli Bibiena and erected between 1767 and 1769. With a bell-shaped floorplan and four rows of boxes, it followed the new style of theatres then in vogue. It was intended to host both theatre productions and concerts, and scientific discourses and conventions. Bibiena also provided the monochrome frescoes in the interior. The theatre is now considered to be his most important work.
It was opened officially on 3 December 1769. A few weeks later, on 16 January 1770, thirteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played a concert here, with resounding success.
In 1773, Giuseppe Piermarini, who constructed the neighbouring palazzo for the Accademia Virgiliana, designed and built the façade of the theatre.
Still used for its original purposes, it now can also be visited by tourists as one of Mantua's museums. The theatre is relatively small, with a scene 12,3 metres wide and 5,6 metres deep, and a maximum audience of 363 persons.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.