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  • It’s seems you can’t throw a stone in Slovakia without hitting some kind of castle, but rooting out the really good ones takes a little bit of know-how. Thankfully, we’ve got a recommendation you’ll be happy to sink your teeth into.

    Situated in Oravský Podzámok, a village which has seen its fair share of centuries come and go, the astounding Orava keep doesn’t so much stand watch over the citizens below, as it does stare down any unwanted visitors. Anchored on a rocky knoll overlooking the old town and unfurling itself over three increasingly elevated levels, the castle encapsulates architectural styles from across seven different centuries; a fact which gives just the slightest hint of how valuable this property has been in preserving the evolution of culture within the surrounding region.

    But don’t let its intimidation tactics make you think twice about stepping foot within those weather-beaten walls. One of the fortifications claims to fame is that it is one of the country’s very first (and, fortunately, one of the most fascinating) museums. With collections that recall both its earliest antiquities and many more modern treasures, there’s plenty besides the glorious views across the roofs to placate any kind of caller.

    Of course, there is one thing about this castle that tickles the fancy of a particular type of traveller, one whose tastes are likely to verge on the more dramatic. And though you may not realise it when you walk the ramparts on a gloriously sunny day, this long since lived in abode was once home to one of the most feared figures ever to appear in the 20th Century…albeit that they only ever existed on film.

    Thanks to the 1922 classic the name ‘Nosferatu’ will forever be associated with Orava, which can be seen playing a starring role as stand in for the creeping Count Orlok’s Transylvanian lair. Keen to capitalise on this spookier side of sightseeing, the estate offers both night tours and regular screenings of this near hundred year old horror. So whether you’re going for the sights or frights, we think you’ll understand why this staggering citadel can more than stake a claim to being one of Slovakia’s most exceptional attractions.

IMAGE CREDIT: wulfgeist74
May 29th 2015