Set on a hill above the Orava River in northern Slovakia, the Orava Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia. Built in the 13th century while the area was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, the castle stands on the site of an old wooden fortification that was built to protect from Mongol invasions. While it was originally designed in the Romanesque and Gothic styles, it was later rebuilt as Renaissance and neo-Gothic.
Today, the castle is home to the Orava Museum, one of the oldest in Slovakia. The museum features multiple exhibitions, including an ethnographic exhibition focused on Orava regional folk culture that is located in the Dubovsky Palace within the castle. The natural history exhibition displays photographs of the natural history of the region, rock and mineral specimens and paleontological findings. An archaeological exhibition features findings from excavations at the castle itself and the historical exhibition documents the castle’s transformation over time. Also worth seeing are the castle’s chapel, the Knights’ Room, the Painting Gallery and the Weapon Room.
The opening hours of Orava Castle vary throughout the year, depending on the season. It can be entered only with a guide and tours last about two hours. Admission is 5 or 6 Euro, again depending on the season. To get to the castle from Kralovany, take the train to the Oravsky Podzamok station or drive from Dolny Kubin on the road toward Poland.