The Palazzo Castelmur was built in 1723 for Johannes Redolfi. Around 1850 Baron Giovanni de Castelmur (1800-1871), a descendent of the Castelmur family from the nearby Castelmur Castle bought the Palazzo as well as the ruins of Castelmur Castle in Bondo. Giovanni was the son of a wealthy Marseille pastry shop owner, who after becoming a successful businessman returned to his family's ancestral village. At the age of 30 he became a property owner in the village, though it is still unclear how he managed to acquire his fortune or title. In 1840 he married his cousin Anna Castelmur (1813-1892) from the nearby village of Vicosoprano.
In 1850 Giovanni and Anna began the expansion and renovation of the old structure. Under the direction of Milanese architect Giovanni Crassi Marliani the exterior was redone in a Moorish inspired Neo-Gothic style. The brick front façade is flanked by two large towers, both the façade and towers crowned with machicolations and corbels. The older parts of the mansion were decorated with paneling and wall paper. The new additions were decorated in the Louis Philippe style with Rococo and Biedermeier elements. The walls are covered with ornate murals and silk wallpaper. Many of the ceilings were covered with trompe l'oeil paintings by Gaspare Tirinanzi and wall paintings by Zaverio Tessera. The Palazzo was surrounded with an English garden and a 2 m tall wall.
Both Giovanni and Anna were patrons of the arts and philanthropists who supported many organizations in the region. As the couple never had children, after Anna's death the Palazzo was inherited by other relatives. In 1961 the heirs sold the castle and surrounding lands to the local government of the Circolo di Bregaglia. The local government converted it into a museum. On the second floor is the Archivio Storico, an archive that stores and researches documents relating to the Val Bregaglia region. Additionally on the second floor there is a permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of Graubünden's pastry bakers, a tribute to Giovanni's upbringing.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.