The Oświęcim Chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stanislaus of Szczepanów, is an extension to the Gothic Franciscan Church in Krosno. Founded in 1647–1648 by a prominent representative of the Oświęcim family, it is also commonly known as the 'Chapel of Love'. Associated with the romantic legend of Stanisław Oświęcim's love for his sister Anna, the building is one of the finest artistic achievements of its era. It represents a type of early Baroque burial chapel built on a square plan, with a dome topped by a lantern inspired by the early Renaissance Sigismund's Chapel.
The designer of the chapel was Vincenzo Petroni from Milan. The rich stucco decoration was the work of the most outstanding stucco decorator of 17th-century Poland, Govanni Battista Falconi. The chapel was built on a square plan, with a dome topped by a lantern. At the entrance, there is a richly carved marble portal and a decorative grille.
The elaborate floral designs are enriched with winged putti. The decoration of the interior is not typically religious as it glorifies the founding family. The coat of arms and military insignia invoke the Oświęcims' noble traditions.
The main furnishing is the altar from 1890 (a faithful copy of a mid-17th century original) with ornaments, woodcuts and paintings dating from the chapel's foundation. The central painting depicts St. Stanislaus resurrecting the deceased knight Piotr with Stanisław and Anna in the background.
The entrance to the crypt beneath the chapel is covered with large boards. The two coffins along the wall contain the remains of Stanisław's father and uncle. Four others were placed in small niches, the smallest coffin indicating the deceased was a child. The centre of the crypt houses the coffins of Anna and Stanisław.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.