Levoca, Slovakia is among the most neglected gems of Central Europe. Not many worldwide vacationers enterprise to this little city within the north of the nation however that’s really the place yow will discover an actual medieval masterpiece, amongst many different Levoca points of interest.
It might sound that that is simply one other picturesque city within the area however the truth is, Levoca is among the UNESCO sights in Slovakia, and that already ought to put the place in your radar.
I’ve been to Levoca in all probability some 5 instances by now. Each time after I’m within the space and I’ve some additional time to spare I resolve to go to Levoca and take in its magnificence and lazy vibe. In case you are visiting Slovakia (particularly its northern half, across the Tatra Mountains or Kosice) make sure you embody Levoca in your itinerary – you’ll not be upset.
The place is Levoca, Slovakia
Levoca, a small city of round 15 thousand inhabitants, is situated within the northern a part of Slovakia, within the Spis area, not removed from the border with Poland. Kosice, the second largest metropolis in Slovakia, is 90km away from Levoca and the magnificent Tatra Mountains are solely 40 km away. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia is on the other aspect of the nation, 360km away.
Methods to get to Levoca
In case you are touring by automobile, visiting Levoca is tremendous simple because the city is situated proper on one of many primary highways in Slovakia, D1, connecting Bratislava with Kosice and additional the border with Ukraine.
However even if you’re utilizing public transport it’s nonetheless doable to go to Levoca (that’s how I all the time get there). There are frequent direct buses to Levoca from Poprad, Spisska Nova Ves, or Presov (by way of Spisske Podhradie). You’ll be able to test present timetables to plan your journey here.
The bus station in Levoca is round 20 minutes stroll away from Major Sq..
What to see in Levoca
Even when right now Levoca is a small, sleepy city, there are literally loads of points of interest and historic sights that make Levoca some of the fascinating locations to go to in Slovakia. Fortuitously, most of them are situated within the middle however nonetheless, you want a number of hours to see all of them. In any case, in 2009 the historic middle of Levoca was included within the UNESCO World Heritage Listing.
The middle of Levoca is Námestie Majstra Pavla – the principle sq. within the historic a part of the city. It’s pretty massive for a city of that dimension, surrounded by stunning, renovated townhouses largely from the 14th and Fifteenth centuries, constructed in numerous kinds.
You will see a number of the most spectacular ones at numbers 7, 20, 44, 59, and 60. You’ll be able to choose already by the look of them what an essential place Levoca was once again in medieval instances.
In one of many townhouses, at no 20, you possibly can go to Grasp Paul’s Home, the museum devoted to essentially the most recognized inhabitant of Levoca. This medieval carver and sculptor is type of a mysterious determine as all of the paperwork about him have been destroyed within the 1550 fireplace. His fashion was much like Veit Stoss, the creator of the spectacular altar within the St. Mary’s church in Krakow, Poland.
All that’s recognized about Grasp Paul is that as a longtime artist he settled in Levoca round 1500 and spent the remainder of his life there. That’s when he created his most spectacular works: an Altar of St. Barbara in Banská Bystrica, an Altar of St. George in Spišská Sobota, and his most well-known work – an altar within the Basilica of St. James in Levoča.
Grasp Paul really turned a widely known determine solely within the nineteenth century, when the seek for the creator of the altar from the close by church started. In the present day within the museum yow will discover all accessible details about Grasp Paul in addition to an outline of his works from throughout Slovakia.
The Basilica of St. James is the place it’s best to head subsequent. The Gothic church with the excessive tower, seen from afar, is the truth is the second-largest church in Slovakia, after the St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Kosice. It dates again to 1370 and survived in roughly intact look and form till today, solely the tower was added to the constructing within the nineteenth century.
However whereas the church can impress from the skin, it’s the inside that’s price the entire journey to Levoca. That’s the place one can find essentially the most well-known work of Grasp Paul and an actual masterpiece – the tallest picket altar on the planet, with a top of 18,62 m. It was created in 1508-1510 and 7 years later it was gilded. The entire construction was constructed from linden wooden, with no nails, and every of the sculptures was constructed from one piece of wooden. It is a true masterpiece and no phrases can describe its magnificence and worth of it.
Apart from the principle altar, there are quite a few different essential objects within the church, making it an unofficial museum of medieval sacral artwork. You will see there 14th-Fifteenth century frescoes, quite a few spectacular sculptures (a few of them even from the 14th century), Gothic liturgical objects, and organs from the seventeenth century. Since photos inside aren’t allowed you merely want to return right here and see all this greatness by yourself.
Subsequent to the Basilica of St. James, one can find one other spectacular and essential landmark in Levoca – the city corridor. Initially the Renaissance constructing dates again to 1615 but it surely seems to be like a peculiar mixture of kinds so it’s price seeing it from each angle. Along with the basilica, these two buildings are the symbols of Levoca that yow will discover on nearly each image and postcard from the city.
It’s doable to go to the city corridor inside the place you possibly can study extra about Levoca and its historical past in addition to see some artifacts from the city’s previous.
One of many artifacts from the museum is definitely situated simply outdoors the city corridor – the medieval cage of disgrace. It’s the unique piece, from round 1600, and was used to “give a lesson” to those that didn’t obey (like younger girls who have been outdoors within the evenings with out male firm).
Responsible individuals have been positioned inside for twenty-four hours, to show them a lesson and to make use of them as a warning to others. The cage of disgrace is definitely an ideal place to have your image from Levoca taken.
Whereas these are crucial monuments in Levoca, the entire historic middle is price exploring, as each constructing bears worth right here. Different landmarks price checking are the city theater from the 18th century (the oldest constructing in Slovakia that has served as a theatre with none interruptions), the Baroque Church of the Holy Spirit, the Gothic Cloister, and the Neo-Classical Lutheran Church.
The historic middle of Levoca is surrounded by spectacular fortifications from the thirteenth and 14th centuries (prolonged and improved in later years) that also right now stand of their unique place. From the unique 2,5 km round 80% survived till today. In reality, that is the best-preserved fortification system in Slovakia. There are two gates that lead into the historic middle – Kosice gate and Polish gate.
As soon as you might be performed visiting the principle points of interest in Levoca you possibly can merely wander across the picturesque, winding lanes to get to know the city a bit higher and to get a really feel of its sleepy vibe. Or you possibly can sit in one of many cafes or eating places on the principle sq. and luxuriate in all the wonder round you.
If you wish to strive Slovak delicacies I can advocate Reštaurácia U Leva, for cake and occasional go to Leutschau Cafe.
There may be yet one more landmark of Levoca that I nonetheless haven’t visited, regardless of my 5 visits to the city – Marianska hora with the Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is situated simply outdoors of the city (you possibly can clearly see it from the middle).
Whereas it’s an essential spiritual website, it additionally provides a spectacular panorama of the encompassing space (and this a part of Slovakia is unquestionably picturesque!). If in case you have an opportunity – go to this place too for the views.
The place to go subsequent
Only a brief trip away from Levoca you possibly can go to Spis Citadel – one of many largest and most vital medieval castles in Central Europe and one other UNESCO World Heritage Web site. From right here you possibly can proceed your journey to Kosice (my favourite metropolis in Slovakia) or Bardejov which is one more UNESCO place and a extremely charming city.
Or you possibly can go to Hight Tatras to get pleasure from some spectacular views and nice hikes. For a little bit of the journey head south to Slovak Paradise Nationwide Park, the realm is understood for its gorges, waterfalls, and typically excessive paths to get round (with ladders and such).
You may as well hop throughout the border and go to Poland.
I printed many articles about Slovakia that you simply would possibly discover helpful when planning your journey there. Listed here are a few of them:
In case you are on the lookout for articles a couple of particular vacation spot – take a look at the map with all of the articles I’ve printed (and their areas).
For the tip I left a number of bulletins that may curiosity you:
- Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates in regards to the new posts
- Be part of my Fb group about Jap Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and join with fellow travellers and fans of those areas – just click here!
- I’ve included a number of helpful hyperlinks of providers and merchandise I personally like and use so you possibly can plan your personal journey to Slovakia too. They’re usually affiliate hyperlinks. This implies I’ll get a small fee if you happen to e book/buy something via my hyperlinks, at no additional prices for you. Thanks!
LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!
Should you loved that put up why do not you share it with your pals? That might imply a lot to me! Additionally make sure you be part of 27.000+ fellow vacationers and observe me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for journey updates and much more photos! Should you do not need to miss new posts signal as much as my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!