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The Castle

Its oldest Gothic part was built by the Rýzmburks in the first half of the 14th century. An architectural jewel of the Gothic part is the Visitation Chapel dating from 1400. It was consecrated on May 14th, 1400. It has got a rib vault with two key stones. One of them is decorated by the coat-of-arms of the lords of Rýzmburk, the other by a heraldic four-leaf clover. The chapel is 14m long, 10m wide and 9m high. The original Gothic wall paintings are unique. They depict 17 biblical scenes like Calvary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, the Birth of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, Saint Christopher, etc. The name of the painter is not known. In some researchers' opinion, the meaning of the paintings is astrological and mystic (symbols of the sun, moon, stars etc.) Unfortunately both the chapel and the paintings are in poor condition. The chapel was used as a granary as early as in the 19th century.
The historical nucleus of the castle consists of two tetragonal towers which were connected and architecturally united through a residential palace with fifteen rooms in the first quarter of the 16th century (1524). It happened under the rule of the Pluhs of Rabštejn, who had the castle "modernized" in the Late Gothic and Renaissance styles. Numerous beautiful portals and jambs dating back to the first half of the 16th century have been preserved in the palace. Some of them were set there at the close of the 19th century. They come from Nový dvůr, a  chateau in Toužim. The portals are marked by various stone-cutters signs.
When the castle was being rebuilt at the beginning of the 16th century, a Renaissance palace, which is called the Pluhovský Palace (Pluhovské Houses) was added to its Gothic part. The coat-of-arms of the Pluhs of Rabštejn, which symbolizes their key part in the history of the castle and the town of Bečov, can be seen in the courtyard.
In 1623 the big cylinder tower was pulled down and the appearance of the castle changed again. The height of the tower was reduced considerably and its original watch and defensive function was gradually changed. The tower was converted into a roundel with a view.
The castle decayed a lot during the Thirty Years' War. After the war had finished, the castle should have been fortified again according to the plans of the commander Jan Lacron. Owing to the lack of money, only the "Lacron Bastion" above the moat was built (1656).
The castle was minimally rebuilt in the 18th century. What remained of the cylinder tower standing in front of the castle had to be reduced to only 6 metres. Only the base walls were left of the original Gothic tower. There is a sign of alliance of the families of Questenberk and Kounic on them.
The castle of Bečov was rebuilt for the last time from 1861  to 1865. The plans were worked out by the architects Josef Zítek and Josef Mocker. The renovation was not extensive. Both architects prepared plans for a  complete rebuilding of the castle in the style of romantic historicism and showed them to the owner of the castle, Beaufort. Fortunately Beaufort did not agree with their plans and the castle has therefore preserved its original appearance which fascinates every visitor to Bečov.
An inseparable part of the residence of Bečov is the Baroque palace. It was built from 1735 to 1750 in the close vicinity of the decayed castle. The building of the New Palace, also called the Lower Palace, was financed by Dominik Ondřej Kounic, the owner of the Bečov estate of that time. The most impressive building of the whole complex is an eight-sided corner tower where ceremonial halls and a chapel are situated. A  stone bridge decorated with the statues of John Nepomucký and the Jezuitical clergyman Jan de Gotto dating from 1753 connects the palace with a small settlement surrounding it. There is an allied sign of the Questenberks and the Kounics on the pedestal of the statue. The gate to the palace is framed in a  Renaissance portal dating back to about 1540.
The interior of the palace was modernized from 1861 to 1875. The architects J. Mocker and J. Zídek took part in the modernization. The chapel of the palace was rebuilt in 1861 and got its present appearance. The terraces date from the second half of the 19th century. Vast cellars, which were a part of the former brewery dating from the 18th century, are situated under the terraces.
The renovated castle was opened to the public for the first time in its history in 1996. Visitors can come and see the exhibition of the Gothic art of West Bohemia. The pride of the castle of Bečov has been the renovated Romanesque St. Maurus reliquary. (the Bečov State Castle, tel. 017/992 50)