Orava Castle

(Photo Via slovakia.com)

Orava Castle, is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia. This stunning castle is situated on a high rock above the Orava river in the village of Oravsky Podzamok, Slovakia. It stands on the site of an old wooden fortification, built after the Mongol Invasion of Hungary in 1241. The original design was in gothic style, and was later reconstructed as a Renaissance and Neo-Gothic structure. The castle was built in the Kingdom of Hungary in the thirteenth century.

The Thurzo family, a family that became hugely successful from mining, took charge of the in the mid 16th century and was responsible for a large amount of the rebuilding work. Its present form was not finalized until 1611. Sadly, it burned down in 1800 after the John Palffy and his family occupied the castle. But it was after a period of dilapidation and World War II, the castle became a national monument.

knights hall orava castle

(Photo Via slovakia.com)

Nowadays, the castle consists of three separate sections- the upper, middle and bottom section. The reason for dividing the house into sections is due to the shape of the rock, on which the castle is located. The castle is easily accessible by car or train from the city of Ruzomberok. To reach the top of the rock is a long trek of about 300 stairs to climb. During the castle’s most popular seasons, there are plenty of cultural events located at the top of the rock, and the most popular nights is when the castle hosts theater performances.

Some of the special events that take place at the Orava castle are events such as “Unlocking Orava Castle” (end April/early May), the Festival of Ghosts and Spirits (end May), Valentine’s Day, Christmas, a spooky Dracula festival (late Aug) and evening tours by candlelight. The unlocking (or opening) includes folk music, a craft market and re-enactment of daily life from the past. You can also go rafting on the quiet Orava River, below the castle.

Enterance to the Orava Castle

(Photo Via slovakia.com)

Interested in visiting this castle? They offer tours of St. Michaels Chapel in the lower part of the castle, they have a historic exhibition of the castle, and a natural science exhibition all in English. You can buy tickets on site, and although it’s not free, it will certainly be worth it to see this famous castle.

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Have you been to Orava Castle?

 

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