Rauenstein Castle guarded the crossing over the River Flöha along the road from Freiberg to Annaberg. The castle is first mentioned in 1323, although from archaeological investigations it is postulated that it had been built by around 1200. The first lords of Rauenstein were the Schellenbergers.
After several changes of ruler, the castle went into the possession of the Electorate of Saxony in 1567. The Amt of Rauenstein was given to Wolkenstein in 1596. Around 1630 large structural changes were made. The road tunnel also dates to this time.
From 1651 to 1743 the castle was rented to the von Römer family, who had become very wealthy as a result of silver mining in the Schneeberg area. Its owner, Christian August Hähnel, who had bought Rauenstein in 1816, his nephew, Wolfgang, Freiherr von Herder (owner from 1843 to 1853) and another family member, Wilhelm Freiherr von Herder, were members of the Saxon Landtag. The next owner, Gottfried Freiherr von Herder, was a German Conservative Reichstag MP from 1893 to 1898.
After its confiscation as part of the land reform in the Soviet Zone of Occupation in 1945, the castle was used as a children's convalescent home. It has been owned by a private family since 1998 and may now only be viewed from the outside.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.