What to see in Levoča – medieval UNESCO town in Slovakia


Levoča is the ancient town situated on the eastern part of Slovakia, in the Spiš region, under The Levoča Mountains. The town is often called the cultural and historical treasure of Slovakia. With plenty of historic buildings and monuments featured by the glorious history, Levoča is among the most popular places in Slovakia.

Levoča was first mentioned as Leucha already in 1249. Settlement had a convenient location on the Via Magna trade route and quickly grew up into the city with all its privileges.

Levoča – medieval UNESCO town in Slovakia

In a short time, Levoča became the center of German colonization and in 1271 became the capital of Spiš Saxons. In 1323 Levoča became free royal city.

The main reason why Levoča was developing so well was a trade that reached an international dimensions. Residents traded with Hanseatic towns, Krakow and also with Venice.

Levoča old town hall rear view, Slovakia
Old town hall rear view by Julius

Craftsmen here made more products and offered them on the markets and fairs in Hungary and Poland.

Levoča is a home to lots of cultural and historical sights of national importance and is surrounded by quite well preserved and partially restored original city walls.

Levoča huge city walls, Slovakia
Huge city walls by Julius

The historic center is formed by the large square of rectangular shape, which is one of the largest in Europe. Here you will find the majority of the sights.

Roman Catholic parish church of St. James from the 14th century is one of the most important religious sights in Slovak Republic. Its tower, built in early 19th century is seen from afar.

Levoča as seen from Marianska hora hill with church tower, Slovakia
Levoča as seen from Marianska hora hill with church tower, Slovakia by Julius

You can enter this church which is now a valuable museum of unique medieval sacral art. Its main altar has been created by Master Paul of Levoča between 1507 and 1517 and is of Late Gothic style.

Entirely made of wood, this altar is 18.6 meters high making it the highest altar of its kind not only in Europe but in the whole world.

House of Master Paul of Levoča, now a museum, Slovakia
House of Master Paul of Levoča, now a museum by Julius

Adjacent to the parish church is old town hall building with arcades built after the huge fire in 1550, which belongs to the best secular architectural buildings from Renaissance period in Slovakia.

Another well known sight is “Cage of shame” from the 16th century, which was used to public condemnation.

Cage of Shame, Levoča, Slovakia
Cage of Shame by Julius

You will find other more than 50 picturesque houses on the square named usually after the former owners. One of the most popular of them is Thurzo House, with the Neo-Renaissance sgraffito facade from 1904.

Thurzo house in Levoča, Slovakia
Thurzo house by Julius

If you think there is still some sight missing in this article about Levoča, please let me know below in the comments. For hotels check booking.com website.

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