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Orava Castle, Slovakia

September 3rd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Orava Castle (Slovak: Oravský hrad, German: Arwaburg, Hungarian: Árva vára ) is the name of a castle situated on a high rock (520 meters/1,760 feet), which was constructed in the 13th century, considered to be one of the most interesting castles in Slovakia. Many scenes of the 1922 film Nosferatu were filmed here, although until recently it was thought to have been shot in Transylvania.

The natural formation "castle cliff" - a limy spur 112 meters (367 ft) high, modeled by the Orava River and its right tributary brook Racova - has been inhabited since the primeval ages. The wooden rampart became during its history a strong walled castle of which the first written documents dates back to 1267. At that time only the ground floor was built of stone, the stories were made of wood.

In 1370 the castle became the center of the Orava County. A tetrahedral multi-story towerntury was built here in the 14th century, probably on older foundations, as a donjon - the place of "last shelter" by defensive the castle. After 1474, King Matthew gave order to build a square and a residence-wing at the Middle Castle. The buildings were situated in front of the castle. In 1534 John of Dubovec obtained the castle and became county head. He started to rebuild the castle and to make new fortifications. He ordered to build a half-round tower at the Upper Castle that in 1539 was followed by two large round fortifications to inside stories for cannons at the Middle Castle. Also the Middle platform was made for cannon firing. In the years 1539 - 1543 John of Dubovec built a five-story palace on the free place between the tower and the stone wall of the Upper Castle. The Turkish peril was the reason for building new fortifications. The new gate with a ditch and drawbridge in the Lower Castle was completed in 1543. The Tower of the Archives was built against the castle walls.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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