The spa town of Bardejov, first referred to in 1241 is located in the calm valley of the Bardejovsky brook. It is spoken of as the most Gothic of towns in Slovakia. In 1950 Bardejov gained protected city status and extensive restoration and preservation of its cultural heritage began.
Today the authentic old town square, lined by rows of burgher houses with their medieval, Renaissance and Gothic architecture has made Bardejov a popular tourist destination. The Franciscan monastery is another of the town's jewels, standing beside the city walls, the best preserved medieval fortification system in Slovakia. In November 2000, the town was recognised for its Jewish Suburbia and historic town centre and inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list.