About Orava Castle

Above the Orava River is a high spit of land, and atop the cliff is Orava Castle (Oravsky hrad). The site of fortresses over the years, the first stone building dates from 1241. The buildings are arranged in three levels; the lower, central, and upper castles, and originally were in the Romanesque and Gothic styles.

In the mid-16th century the Thurzo family gained control of the castle and began to renovate buildings into Renaissance and neo-Gothic styles. The present shape of the castle was achieved in 1611. The castle burned in 1800 and was reconstructed after World War II, and became a national cultural monument in 1953.

Several rooms in Orava Castle are furnished as they would have been in various periods of the castle's history. There is also an exhibit on the natural history of the Orava region, and an archaeological exhibit showing the phases of construction on the castle site.

The chapel is decorated in the 17th to 18th century style preferred by the Thurzos. Entrance to the chapel is not included in the price of a ticket to the castle.

Classic horror fans may recognize the castle from the film "Nosferatu." The castle was used as a location for filming. You might find a vampire (mannequin) lurking in a dark doorway, waiting for you.

Visitors must enter with a tour. Some guides speak English, and some texts are in English. The tour lasts about an hour and 45 minutes and involves climbing many steps as the tour works its way to the citadel. During the tourist season there are night tours, and in the summer there are performances on the castle grounds.

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