Slovakia is a small country rich with nature beauty. As a travel destination located in central Europe is not so popular but many nature lovers and castles lovers comes often to Slovakia.In one of my trips to Slovakia i decide to visit the picturesque county of Orava. River Orava that pass through this area contribute to some really majestic views. In North West part of Slovakia above the Orava river is one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia- Orava Castles.
Orava castles is build on the rock above the river Orava canyon .Surrounded with nice forest this 13 century build castle will take your breath away. Its so beautiful that is highly recommended to visit if you are already in Slovakia.
Road to Orava Castle
I arrive in Bratislava the capital of Slovakia with a train from Budapest.Because i knew and i want to visit Orava Castle i decide to get a public transport to there. So basically there is a two option two get to Orava. One is by direct bus to Oravsky Podzamok and from there to castle. Its 292 km journey and is bit more than 6 hour driving . Its so slow because is stopping in many places to load or off load the passengers. We catch the afternoon bus and by the night we were there . Ticket cost 16$-18$ depend which company you took ( there is two of them), If you choose to go with the train than you need to catch a train to Kralovany and than you transfer to Oravsky Podzamok. Train is about 5 hours and is bit cheaper ( 13$) .
There is several hotels in the area. Mainly in Dolny Kubin which is around 14 km away from the castle.We went to Orava Hotel 3 days cost us 45 euro a room for two. Its a 3 star hotel and was located in the forest so view was amazing.
Orava Catsle tour
After we sleep nice and take a rest from the trip we ask the people in the hotel how to get to Orava Castle from there. Was some nice guy Martin with his wife that offer us a ride to there ( only 20 min – 14.5 km) . Once we arrive in the foot of the mountain under the castle we were fascinated by the look and the whole structure.
Walk a bit up the hill to the castle entrance we pass around 700 steps to get there. Entrance fee is 2 euros for adult .Orava castle was build in time when Slovakia was under the Hungarian. The whole interior is intake. Looks completely same as the time when was build.
As it usually goes with Slovak castles, it was built in the place of former fortified fortress. That was right after the Tartar raids, in the mid 13th century. Orava Castle was owned by many aristocrats, county heads and noblemen, protecting important road to Poland and serving as an administrative and military center for the region.
After Francis Thurzo got the castle in pledge in 1556, he reconstructed it extensively, adding supporting walls to statically disturbed parts, annexing a palace and a new chapel. His son continued with works by building a big bastion with a tunnel, gatehouse and gate tower, according to the principals of then modern fortification theories. After his death, to this day, his wife Elizabeth Czobor supervises the castle. At night she walks through castle halls and courtyards with a lantern in her hand.
In 1800 the castle burnt out after several days and nights of fire. Fortunately, Francis Zichy had it repaired and reconstructed almost immediately. Shortly after, one of first museums in Slovakia was established here.
The tour will take you 100s and 100s years back in the history . Time when this place was busy with people and was one of the most important places on the road to Poland. Now only the rumor as a haunted castle left. Despite this Orava castle will make you to fall in love in this place. The location is amazing and the way how is build on the top of the rock is fascinating.
After a day spend nice around the castle we went back to the Orava Hotel to take a break sleep enjoy a bit more in Slovakia countryside and than go to Bratislava to continue our exploring.