|Liptovsky hradok Castle||Castles||36km|
The Orava Castle built of stone was founded in the 13th century as a royal residence. Later it became a district Orava castle. However, in the ancient times, in the 9th century, there had been a Great Moravian settlement with a fortress on this site. The castle is first mentioned in 1267, when King Belo IV took it from Miko Balaš. In 1298 it was in hands of Mathias Csák of Trenčín. After his death, Orava Castle and the region of Orava went into hands of powerful magister Dončo. In 1333 it was gained by Karol Robert.
During the Hussite Wars, the castle was first defended by Ctibor of Stiboríce, and later it was Mikuláš Balický. From 1441 the castle was administered by Peter Komorovský, who not only defended the castle but -as he was very capable and skilful - he became the district governor of Orava. He had the Orava Castle repaired and provided with ramparts. Later he joined the rebels.
When the rebellion was beaten, the castle went in the hands of Mathias Corvin. The Orava Castle was repaired and rebuilt. Then it was owned by Imrich Zápoľský, the Orava district governor. His family was involved in a conflict with the king, who sent to Orava his army, and the army seized the Orava Castle. The king then donated the castle to Ján from Dubovec, who began a complex renovation. After his death the castle was inherited by the lord Sedlnický, who had to let the Orava Castle to František Thurzo. The Thurzo family had the castle rebuilt to its present appearance.
During the unfavourable economic situation in the 17th and 18th century the castle was attacked by rebels and damaged several times. In 1709 it was seriously damaged during the Rákoci uprising. In 1800 the castle burnt out. The owners made only necessary maintenance work that saved the Orava Castle before destruction. Another important modification of the castle took place in the 1953–1968 period. Minor repair work has been continuing up to the present time.
At present, the Orava Castle is the seat of the Orava Museum. From the highest part of the castle – the citadel (880 steps) - you can have a breathtaking view of the Orava valley.