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Levoca

About

Located to the east of the beautiful High Tatra mountain range, with a population of around 15,000 lies the UNESCO listed town of Levoca (pronounced Levo-cha).  This is 13th century Slovakia -  cobblestone alleys surrounded by ancient, city walls.  UNESCO cites the town's historic centre and its fortifications, as well as the preserved works of Master Paul of Levoca, a magnificent late Gothic altar, the tallest of its kind in the world at over 18.5 metres.  The altar is carved in wood with representations of the last supper, the Madonna and child and decorated in gold in St. James Church in the town.  

The town square boasts three major monuments; the quaint Old Town Hall (15th-17th century) which now contains a museum, the domed Evangelical Lutheran Church (1837) and the 14th century aforementioned Roman Catholic Church of St.James. The square itself is very well preserved, containing townhouses of the local nobility in the late Middle Ages.  

Also worthy of mention is the wrought iron "Cage of Shame" dating back to the 17th century, used for public punishment of wrongdoers.  About 2 kilometres north of Levoča, with views overlooking the town and countryside is the traditional pilgrimage site of Mariánska hora.  Notably, in 1995 it was visited by Pope John Paul II, celebrating a mass for 650,000 pilgrims to the site.

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