There are few places in Europe that can offer such magnificent castle ruins as the small village of Beckov. This small place is indeed worth a visit, even though it’s slightly off the beaten track. The village is in the Trenčín Region in the north-western part of Slovakia. Imagine a picturesque small town with around 1.300 inhabitants. Add to that a castle overlooking the town and telling the tale of European history. Well, at least a part of it. The fascinating thing about Slovakia and its small towns is that at some point or another they have played important roles in the twists and turns of European history. The castle ruins might be the reason for a visit, but the village itself stays in memory as well.
In case you are planning a visit, we think that one day is enough. An idea is to combine a stop in this town with a visit to Trnava and/or Trenčín. Actually, it lies on the road between these two cities, so it is easy to include it in a Slovak road trip.
Beckov: A Short History
Lying in the great empires of Great Moravia and the Kingdom of Hungary, Beckov has played an important role in history. Written records mention the village for the first time in 1228. During the time of Great Moravia the village became a part of the defensive fortifications. Standing next to the river Váh, a stone castle was built to protect the borders of the Kingdom of Hungary in the 13th century. Consequently, it was at the base of the castle that the village developed and grew. Then a town, Beckov, followed the development of the castle – which saw several aristocratic rulers during the years. The importance of the town fast declined after the destruction of the castle in 1729.
What to Do In Beckov?
Beckov is a quaint small town with two churches in the center. In general, Slovakia has a lot of beautiful churches. The church towers add a charming twist to the view over the village. The churches are Farský kostol sväty Štefana kráľa from 1424 and the Evanjelický kostol built between the years 1791 and 1845. There is also a small, yet colorful, main square just below the main attraction up on the hill.
Beckov Castle / Hrad Beckov
The main attraction in Beckov is the Beckov Castle. Today the castle stands in ruins, but it is still an impressive sight standing on top of a 60-meter high hill. The first mentionings of the castle are from 1208. Most of the significant developments to the castle date to the 14th century. It was after a fire in 1729 that the castle was left in ruins.
It is to reach the castle ruins. You can either walk or drive up the hill. It is possible to enter the castle and visitors can enjoy the remains of rich Gothic and Renaissance decorations. Also, don’t forget to check out the view over the White and Little Carpathians. If you want to learn more about the town and its history, a stop at the town museum below the castle might be a good idea.
Beckov: How to Get There?
Car: The village lies along the road D1/E75 which connects the village with Trenčín a bit further north and with Trnava in the southwest.
The driving distance to Beckov from 3 major Slovak cities, according to Google Maps:
Bratislava– 111 kilometers (1 h 8 min)
Žilina – 100 kilometers (58 min)
Košice – 252 kilometers (3 h 52 min)
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