Orava Castle

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Orava Castle , is situated on a high rock above Orava river in the village of Oravsky Podzamok, Slovakia. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia. The castle was built in the Kingdom of Hungary in the thirteenth century. Many scenes of the 1922 film Nosferatu were filmed here, the castle representing Count Orlok’s Transylvanian castle.
Orava Castle stands on the site of an old wooden fortification, built after the Mongol invasion of Hungary of 1241. Its history since then reveals a familiar pattern of construction, destruction, reconstruction, fire, various ownerships and territorial squabbles. The original design was in Romanesque and Gothic style  it was later reconstructed as a Renaissance and Neo-Gothic structure, hugging the shape of the 520-metre spur on which it perches. The mining magnate Thurzo family, who took charge in the mid 16th century, were responsible for a great deal of rebuilding work, although its present form was not finalised until 1611. It burned down again in 1800, after which it was no longer used as a residence. And then, after a period of dilapidation and World War II, the castle became a national monument.

History : After the death of John of Dubovec, his heirs quarreled over the inheritance and the situation became so bad that the castle even became a store-house. It was paid for by the mine owner Ferenc Thurzo. A lot of building activity took place at the castle following this time period. The wooden stairs in the Upper Castle were replaced by stone stairs. The same was done to the stairs between the Middle and the Upper Castle with the drawbridge. A cellar was also dug out of the stone of the castle court and a one-story residence-wing was built in the Lower Castle near the west wall.

Juraj Thurzo also carried out some important repairs. One of the first was the building of a tunnel between both castle gates, above which was formed a large terrace. After this was all done he moved the living-quarters and the building of the Chapel started using parts of some old architecture. The interior furnishing of the Chapel was later arranged in a taste which suited the new owners of the Castle. One of the most well-known features is the Renaissance grave tomb of Juraj Thurzo from the beginning of the 17th century and the Baroque altar from 1751 – 1752.

The castle is opened during the whole year, besides the April. There are tours in English and German . The fee for adult is normally 2 €. visit the Orava museum website for more information.The castle is split into 3 parts: Lower part, Middle and Top, which is the oldest.
Inside are expositions and a museum.

Region: Region Žilina (Žilinský kraj) , District:Dolný Kubín , City / Municipality:Oravský Podzámok , Tourist location: Orava
Mountains:Skorušina Hills (Skorušinské vrchy)Latitude:49° 15′ 42.58908″ / 49.2618303 /
Longitude:19° 21′ 30.855240000065″ / 19.358570900000018 / ( from Bratislava to Orava castle. You need to enter ‘Oravsky podzamok’ as your destination. ) 

Access : By railway from Kralovany, station Oravsky Podzamok. By car :  from Dolny Kubin towards Poland. by public transport : There are approximately three direct bus connections per day from Bratislava bus station to Oravsky Podzamok. Other option is to take train from Bratislava to Kralovany and then transfer to local train to Oravsky Podzamok etc.

Opening Hours
2nd Jan – 10th Apr : 10:00 – 15:00
11th Apr – 27th Apr. : closed
28th Apr – 31th May : 8:30 – 17:00
1st Jul – 31st Aug : 8:30 – 18:00
1st Spe – 30th Sep : 8:30 – 17:00
1st Oct – 31st Oct : 8.30 – 16.00
1st Nov – 23rd Dec : 10.00 – 15.00
24th Dec – 26th Dec : closed
27th Dec – 30th Dec 10.00 – 15.00
31st Dec – 1st Jan : closed

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