Orava Castle (Hungarian: Árva vára, German: Arwaburg, Slovak: Oravský hrad) is situated on a high rock above Orava river. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Slovakia. The castle was built in the 13th century. Many scenes of the 1922 film Nosferatu were filmed here, although until recently it was thought to have been shot in Transylvania.
Orava Castle stands on the site of an old wooden fortification, built after the Tartar invasion of 1241. Its history since then reveals a familiar pattern of construction, destruction, reconstruction, fire, various ownerships and territorial squabbles. The original design was in Romanesque and Gothic style; it was later reconstructed as a Renaissance and Neo-Gothic structure, hugging the shape of the 520-metre spur on which it perches.
The mining magnate Thurzo family, who took charge in the mid 16th century, were responsible for a great deal of rebuilding work, although its present form wasn't finalised until 1611. It burnt down again in 1800, after which the Pálffys moved in to splatter the place with their specific brand of tasteful extravagance. And then, after a period of dilapidation and the World War II, the castle became a national monument.
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