SK, Oravský Podzámok – A Village Below Royal Castle
On the right bank of the river Orava (at an altitude of almost 500 meters and surrounded by beautiful mountains) lies the village Oravský Podzámok. It lies at the crossroads of roads leading through Trstena to Krakow or across the mountain saddle Prislop to Namestovo, respectively. Polish Feldspar. The very center of the village can be found under the castle rock, about 3 kilometers southwest is the local borrough of Široká, known for its large metallurgical complex, and to change 2 kilometers east is the borrough of Dolna Lehota, where tourists are lured to see folk houses.
The history of Orava Podzámok is, of course, linked to the medieval castle. The first written record dates back to 1267, but the existence of the castle is certainly documented by a summary of the Turzov property of 1559. The village has always been a privileged position and was not subject to the Hungarian authorities at that time, but the castle lords. It became independent in the second half of the 19th century. Perhaps the biggest disaster was the fire of the castle in 1800. After a few decades, however, its gradual restoration occurred and there was one of the first museums in Slovakia.
Orava Castle is the biggest tourist attraction not only of the village but also of the region. Almost 200,000 history lovers visit him every year. The castle is divided into three parts - Upper Castle formed by Citadel, Central Castle consisting of Corvinus Palace, residential tower and palace of Jan of Dubovec and Lower Castle formed by Turza Palace, Chapel of St. Michael, western and eastern bastion and other objects.
However, we will gradually introduce other sights that are often neglected by visitors. One of them is the castle parallel, which has always been a fortified hillfort. It is also interesting from a geological point of view, studied by the legendary scientist and university professor Dimitri Andrusov, the founder of modern Slovak geology. Near the entrance to the castle you can see a rather neglected plaque with his name.
Another significant monument in the village is the Roman Catholic church of John of Nepomuk built in the year 1831. It is a one-nave Empire style building with a polygonal presbytery ending and a nicely decorated interior.
Decaying Renaissance administrative building from approximately 1600 or the classicist two-storey building of the Old Post Office from the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries are other remarkable spots. It is also worth visiting the dominant building of the Museum of Historical Forestry in Orava, the old prefecture or the hotel Oravan from the 19th century.
There are other interesting places in the historical center - the house where Milo Urban lived, a modified inn, a statue of P. O. Hviezdoslav, secular columns, memorial plaques dedicated to K. Čapek, K. A. Medvecký and F. Paňák. There is also the Museum of Carriages and Sledges for the Nobility, which boasts a unique and largest collection in Slovakia. The exhibition is completed with mannequins in historical costumes.
Rafting, a former craft of our grandfathers, is also represented here. On the banks of the river Orava you can take a sightseeing cruise on an old-raft raft under the rock bars of Orava Castle. There are souvenir shops, in the season and falconry performances or themed events. Finally, we have to mention the relatively new building of the visitor center, which serves as the main clue. In addition to ticket sales and information, its glazed part is intended for exhibition purposes. Unfortunately, the style of this architecture is in stark contrast to the historic village. Also, a number of unflattering advertising banners spoil the impression of visiting an otherwise picturesque village.
Parking is expensive, but don't be discouraged. Orava Podzámok is a historical example of the life of the castle, which has an perfect atmosphere.
Text and photos: Oskár Mažgút
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