Oravsky Podzamok Things to Do

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    View from the middle castle
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Most Recent Things to Do in Oravsky Podzamok

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    Personal Quarters

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 31, 2012

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    the Lord's bed chambers
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    in the upper reaches of the castle you have the personal space of the lord of the castle, or the castellan appointed to be in charge of the castle while the lord was away.

    The interior of the castle would be disappointing if you come expecting some grand fairytale castle where the lord lives in luxury. For example, if you compare this castle to Bojnice Castle, you can immediately see the totally different functions. Bojnice is much larger, much more opulent and specifically designed as a residential castle. Orava, on the other hand, retains much of its original medieval character.

    the furniture that was there, and you have to remember that the castle was severely damaged by fire several times, stuck me as somewhat spartan. Functional, comfortable, but not luxurious.

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    Center of the County

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 31, 2012

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    View from the middle castle
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    As mentioned before, Orava castle's main function was the administration of Arva County. At the time it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Today the area runs from northern Slovakia to Southern Poland. The main town on the Slovak side is Dolny Kubin, the main town on the Polish side is Jablonka. The area of the county (until 1910) was 2,019, between Zazriva and the Tatra Mountains along the Orava River.

    It's location by the Orava river, high up enough to have a strategic view of the entire surrounding countryside. Even today, the view is great. You go to the window and out in the distance you can see the enemy approaching. Sounding the alarm the knights rush into a frenzy to take up their battle stations. Easy!

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    Administration of Justice

    by GentleSpirit Updated Aug 24, 2012

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    Whipping Post- Orava Castle

    One of the main functions of Orava castle was as the seat of the region. As such, administrative functions were important.

    One of the essential functions of this sort of castle in the middle ages was the administration of justice. We in the modern age continue to be fascinated by this aspect, the seeming arbitrariness, the dungeons, the hideous torture chambers.

    Scholars seem to agree that though torture was practiced it may not have been nearly as common or widespread as previously thought. Furthermore, in this kind of rural setting the kind of crimes were less likely to be heresy or murder, more likely the stealing of chickens or horses, stuff like that. I have difficulty believing that the torture chambers were used all that often except for the major kind of crimes. Of course, what constituted a major crime might have differed somewhat with the times.

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    Three Castles

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 6, 2012

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    Orava Castle has, like most of the other castles you will see, fallen victim to accidents and natural disasters over time. The usual culprit has been fire. So in most castles you will see gradual changes that reflect new work done in a new style as a reflection of a new owner's tastes or needs.

    What is different about Orova castle is that you there are three distinct castles-the lower, middle and upper castles. These were built up over time. The switch from Gothic to Baroque, for example is not uncommon, but i found the fact that this castle has been around since the middle ages and in three different mini-castles, that was quite different.

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    coming into the Castle

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 5, 2012

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    Once you have come in the main gate, you head up the cobblestone way in the previous pictures. Once you have crossed the plank that might have been the drawbridge (I'm not sure if its still used) you are in the castle proper.

    Look above, your eyes will first gaze in wonder at the upper castle, how it hugs the rug, you start thinking of how impregnable this castle appears to be. Interestingly, they don't tell you during the tour if/when the castle was actually invaded or how successful the invaders might have been.

    if you look directly above you, you will notice the seal of the owner of the castle. (sorry, my command of Latin isn't very good, so i can only guess that it says this is the castle of the mighty such and such, son of X, great ruler of Y)

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    Taking photos at the castle

    by GentleSpirit Written Aug 5, 2012

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    Realistically, the best photos of the castle are from the parking lot and a bit farther away. Those will cost you nothing.

    When you are paying your ticket they don't always ask you if you want to take pictures. Of course walking in with my camera ready to go sort of gave me away. For the privilege of taking photos inside the castle you will have to pay extra, though. That is common throughout Slovakia.

    Cameras- 3 euro
    Videocamera- 5 euro

    Is it worth the money? I would say yes. I paid the fee and was satisfied. However, bear in mind that the decoration in this castle is not luxurious so if you are going to be visiting lots of castles....Firstly, make sure that you have good flash, a lot of parts of the castle are not very well lit

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    Admission to the Castle

    by GentleSpirit Updated Aug 5, 2012

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    Knock knock
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    From the parking lot you will have to cross the street (don't worry not many cars). On the left is the ticket office and souvenir shop.

    Hours are from 9:00 to 17:00 daily.
    6 euro-Jan-March
    5 Euro May-December
    closed in April

    There is a separate admission of 2 euro for the chapel of St Michael

    You must enter the castle with a tour group, and you might have to wait a bit longer if you need a foreign language. I went with a slovak guide who translated the whole thing for me.

    You knock on the exterior door to the castle and you will be let in, when there are enough people for the tour you will be ushered in by your guide

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    visit of the castle

    by guiiillaume Written Jul 26, 2005

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    very very good visit.. it's a pitty that it was only in sloval langauge.. it's possible to read some description in english in some rooms..and the guide also tried to speak some english words.
    really, it was a great visit, with music, some fight..and wonderful view on the area :) i recommand!!

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    Czech saint with angels

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 19, 2003

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    STONE  ANGEL

    There were two, timy. lovely stone angels put by St. Nepomucen statue.

    There is an interesting story of the saint St. Nepomucen:
    John Nepomucen was born at Nepomuk, Bohemia (Czech), 1340; studied, lived and died in Prague in 1393; canonized in 1729.
    He became involved in a dispute between Czech King Wenceslaus IV and the archbishop of Prague. He supported the archbishop. At a meeting with John and other clerics, Wenceslaus flew into a rage, tortured them so that John was seriously injured, and then had him murdered and thrown into the Moldau River at Prague.

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    Nepomucen

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 19, 2003

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    NEPOMUCEN  STONE  STATUE

    The stone figure of St. John Nepomucen with two angels standed on a stone post on the left side of the trail to the castle. It looked old and interesting for me.

    I found a lot of sculptures/statues of St. Nepomucen driving around Slovakia. They were called "nepomuceny". You can find them in Poland and in Prague, Czech as well - on Karl Bridge for example.


    I put a few "Nepomuceny" on my Poland VT pages, welcome:
    Wawolnica
    Rybnik
    Rybnik
    Tychy

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    Oravske Mueum

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 19, 2003

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    TICKET  OFFICE  TO  ORAVSKE  MUSEUM

    Visit Oravske Museum that is a castle on a top of a hill. It contains historical rooms and expositions: archeological, historical, natural and etnographical.
    First buy a ticket.

    ENTRANCE FEES
    Adults - 100 Sk
    Children 6-15 yo and students (international identity necessary!) - 60 Sk
    Entrance with the camera - 50 Sk
    Entrance with the videocamera - 100 Sk!
    You could buy there:
    36.3 Sk for $1
    42.9 Sk for 1 Euro
    9.47 Sk for 1 Polish zloty

    HOURS
    May, September, October 8.30 am - 4.00 pm
    June 8.30 am - 5.00 pm
    July, August 8.30 am - 5.30 pm
    November-April only visits booked beforehand!

    ORAVA & SPIS
    Oravsky Podzamok is located in a historic and cultural region called Orava - the most northern part of Slovakia (north-central Slovakia just south of Poland) - land of beautiful landscapes, mountains, castles and wooden architecture. The adjacent region (to the east) is called Spis so you can often find the name: Orava and Spis as well.

    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
    Slovakia and Orava was considered part of Greater Hungary until 1918, when it united with the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia, in addition to a small part of Silesia (Germany and Poland), to form a contry called Czechoslovakia. In 1939, shortly before the start of World War II, Slovakia declared its independence under pressure from German dictator Adolf Hitler, but in 1945 it was reunited with the rest of Czechoslovakia. From 1948 until 1989 Czechoslovakia was ruled by a Soviet-style Communist regime. In 1993 the country broke apart, and Slovakia and the Czech Republic became independent countries.

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    Wooden architecture

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 19, 2003

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    WOODEN  COTTAGE

    To be honest Oravsky Podzamok was not the best place in Slovakia to admire wooden architecture but quite interesting. And I surely had to see this cottage on my picture as it housed Oravske Museum headquarters, the castle ticket office and the souvenir store. Its walls were built of thick, wooden logs and looked very nice.

    Hmm... the roof of the cottage was covered by "plastic" tiles instead of wooden ones. The base was made of stones and the ground floor was raised a little above the ground as protection against floods, I think.

    MILO URBAN
    There was a commerating plate on a wall of the cottage on which was written in Slovak information that Milo Urban in 1925-1935 came to this cottage to her wife and he was writing his works there in 1936 - 1981. Who was Milo Urban?
    Milo Urban (1904-1982) belonged to greatest writers of Slovak literature. His novel "The living whip" (Zivy bic), 1927, was translated, as one of the first Slovak modern novels, into many languages. After WWII he lived and died silently because of his controversial political past during WWII.

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    Parish church

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 18, 2003

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    PARISH  CHURCH

    We found this tiny church ("fara" in Slovak) on my picture below the castle hill. It was located in a small well-kept public park and had a small but well seen tower roofed in red iron sheet. Lovely, tiny architectural design looked as it was renovated recently.

    The church was built in 1831 with tower and facade added in 1900. Before there was only a church placed inside the Orava castle.

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    Meet pretty women :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 18, 2003

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    PRETTY  WOMEN

    Guys maybe not so lucky as women in Oravsky Podzamok. I didn't meet any pretty women there except these two on my picture. But I did not complain, I didn't go there to look for a woman and the two very sympathetic women were even more than enough for me :-))).

    This woman on the right was named Kathy (Kodi01) and she was very smart and brave woman, she smiled a lot, she drank Coca-Cola light, she liked to talk much in English and she used to repeat one Polish word: tak, tak, tak which meant yes, yes, yes.

    This one on the left was named Urszula (matcrazy0) and she was similar to Kathy except the fact that she liked to talk much in Polish. Sorry guys, Urszula was already taken by me :-))).

    Ufff... I was a very busy interpreter between the two women, haha, sometimes I could translate words not very exactly :-))).

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    Meet handsome guys :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 18, 2003

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    VISITORS  FROM  AUSTRALIA :-)))

    Hiking up to the castle hill we met a few visitors with these two young guys on my picture among them.
    Hmm... women said that this one on the left looked very handsome. Instead of being jealous I... took them a picture.

    I was surprised when I noticed that they were talking in English. I told Kathy that they were from Texas and she... asked hehe. They were... never guess... from Australia - quite far hehe :-)))

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