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Slovakia - Castles, Manor houses See all

Orava castle

The attractive tourist locality of the northern Slovakia is the Orava Castle. Castle was built on the rock above to river Orava near the village Oravský Podzámok. The castle rock hill on which the most famous monument of Orava region is located was inhabited in primeval times already. The Castle complex in its current form was created by gradual development from 13th until 20th century. Its buildings are built in various architectural styles from Roman, through Gothic and Renaissance to Baroque and Romanticism.
Orava castle
Orava castle
Slovakia, Žilina region
City: Oravský Podzámok
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Orava Castle

Prehistoric fortification dating back to Halstatt era became foundation for later stone fortress. Although first written document mentioning Orava Castle is from 1267 it is supposed to have been founded already in first half of 13th century. It was protecting frontier region and trade route from Hungary to Poland. Orava Castle was royal feud belonging to Belo IV and his successors until 17th century when it became property of Thurzo family.

Citadel built in 13th century is the oldest part of the Castle. Its old Roman core was rebuilt in 16th century in Renaissance style. Roman window is evidence of the original style. Citadel served as guarding fortress and a last resort of castle garrison in case of the siege. Galleries and loopholes provided overview to the Castle surroundings and to enemy armies in case of siege. Rain water cistern was source of fresh water for the garrison.

Orava castle

Square tower - donjon, built in 13th century and serving as residential and defence bastion, is the oldest part of Middle castle. King Matej Korvín built in 15th century Renaissance residential palace bearing his name. Ján of Dubovec completed construction activities in Middle castle by building of two defense bastions - Eastern and Western and five floor residential palace. More than 90 metres deep castle well was dug in 16th century under the reign of František Thurzo. Count Ján Pálffy restored whole Middle castle in neo-gothic style in 1906-1912.

Fortified settlement existed in the area of Lower castle in 13th century and became later the integral part of the Castle. The Archive tower is the only of its defence bastions that survived until today. New single floor residential palace was built alongside western castle wall by František Thurzo.

Orava castle
 

Attractions

St. Michael´s Chapel

Chapel is situated in lower part of Castle at Main Courtyard. It was built by Juraj Thurzo as protestant shrine in 1610-1611. Inside the Chapel you can find crypts of Thurzo and Henkel family from 17th century, epitaph of Juraj Thurzo, post-mortal portraits of Juraj Thurzo and Alžbeta Czoborová, baptistery, pulpit, copy of original protestant altar and wooden empora. The interior of Chapel was rebuilt in Baroque style and catholicised in the middle of 18th century when it was devoted to St. Michael Archangel.
St. Michael´s Chapel won on 21.8.2006 national competition „Cultural monument of the year“ in the category Restoration of national cultural monument.

Historic exibition of Orava castle

Orava castle as a national cultural monument is historical complex documenting architectonic styles of individual historic eras, its original use and rebuilding under the taste of changing times. Expositions are focused on documenting medieval and contemporary style of accommodation, historic types and kinds of military technology, artistic sense of the centuries, transformed into artistic and utility artefacts.

Orava castle


Etnographic and Natural science exhibition

Orava region is still considered to be an area rich in folk culture in its material and spiritual form. New ethnographic exposition installed in Ján of Dubovec Palace offers to visitors of Orava Museum this variety of traditional values, emphasizing visual perception. Spiritual culture of Orava is represented by the most important habits that survived in the region to large extent until today, complemented by photography.

During Orava castle visit you will take a walk in the nature of Orava. On top of basic characteristics of natural conditions of Orava region, complemented by rich photo documentation you can expect samples of minerals, rocks and paleontological specimen. Would you like to see how life in Orava river or in peat bog looks like, what lives close to our houses, what is characteristic for meadows, pasturelands and alpine ranges of Orava? Come to visit the Orava castle!

Summer night tours full of history, fear and fun are very popular for their authentic and historical atmosphere.

Orava castle

History

First written record of Orava Castle dates from 1267 During its development as a guard and defensive fortness as well as noble residence was alternately belong to the royal dominion or property to rich noble lords as : Matúš Čák Trenčiansky, Magister Donč, King Charles Robert, Stibor from Stiboric, Peter Komorovský, Mathias Corvinus, John from Dubovca and others. Greatest expansion of Orava Castle begins in the mid-16th century, when he got into the hands of wealthy noble family Turzo`s. The turn of the 16th and 17 century Turzo`s rebuild castle gradually and fortify it. Present appearance, castle obtained within George Turzo ownership.

In 1800, Orava Castle was affected by a few days fire, when turn to ash all the wooden parts of the Middle and Lower Castle. Partial rescue takes place directly after the fire, managed by director of the Orava Compossessorate Francis Ziči and later in the years 1906 - 1912, repairs and restoration of the Middle castle managed by Joseph Pálfy.

Upon to initiative of William Rowland and under the auspices of Compossessor Edmund Ziči become to practical use of abandoned Orava Castle, where in 1868 was founded Compossessorate Orava Museum, one of the oldest museums in Slovakia.

Orava castle

Museum

In the Castle it self the Orava Museum was established with numerous series of expositions. In the oldest part of the upper castle, an archaeological exposition documenting the oldest history of the Orava settlement is installed. Natural history exhibition is installed in the bottom floors of the central castle with samples of fauna and flora. On the upper floor of the central castle, an ethnographic exposition is placed. Historical exposition consists of a group of medieval and Renaissance buildings with their original furniture. Seeing the castle also includes short performances due to which it belongs among the most attractive in Slovakia.

Orava castle

Number of events is prepared by Orava museum for the visitors of Orava castle during the whole year. The new season is traditionally opened at the beginning of May by Thurzo festival. The gate of the Castle is opened by the symbolical key under singing of bells and shooting from historic weapons. Thurzo`s fair with crafts men from Slovakia and abroad presenting their crafts is very popular.

Orava castle

Surrounding

Orava region is named upon to river passing through of territory. The name itself may be of Gallic origin, which meant the bright flow, bright water but also Germanic, based on the name of arolla pine. Archaeological research has managed to map and to justify the gradual settlement of the region during the Paleolithic, the middle and late Bronze Age and Iron Age. Settlement was not interrupted even in time of the Roman period and even later arrival of Slavics on this territory and settled down in the Orava region at the turn of the 8 and 9 century bc.

First written record relating to the Orava territory is a document from 1265, which king Belo IV. regulated duties and privileges of the king`s subjects in Liptov. The very concept is not only Orava castle and its immediate surroundings and probably it was significant formulation, which included not only the customs station and several historically documented gentry settlements but the whole territory of Orava. We can assume that already in the mid-13th century there existed smaller villages as declared historically later.

Orava castle

Useful information


Price list

Adults: 6,00 - 5,00 € Students: 4,00 - 3,00 €
Children [0-6]: 1,00 € Children [6 -18]: 4,00 - 3,00 €


Source: www.oravamuzeum.sk

Orava castle

Oravský Podzámok - Dolný Kubín
LAT: 49.2616220 = 49° 15' 41.8392"
LON: 19.3584510 = 19° 21' 30.4236"

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