Levoca (German: Leutschau) is a beautiful town in the Spis, Eastern Slovakia.
Train connections from nearby Poprad (German: Deutschendorf) and Presov (German: Peschau).
Actually, there is no train line any more, but buses are widely available from Poprad, Kosice, Presov, Spissky Novy Ves etc. If you are gettig the train, get it to Poprad or Spissky Novy Ves, and buses are available from both stations. Be warned, that the bus drivers can be very, very grumpy.
To get to Levoca Centre from the bus station, either walk straight through the apartment blocks and estates behind the station, and take the second or third left to bring you out onto the main road. Alternatively, take a right turn at the station, walk around the corner and you can cross the road, and walk up through the town. This is the easier option for those with a lot of baggage.
Warning: The presence of a zebra crossing does not neccessarily mean that drivers will stop. Sometimes a well timed sprint is the only way to cross.
The historical centre is quite small and you can manage it by foot.
- Mostly Renaissance old town
- Fortifications and the two surviving gates
- St. James Cathedral, with world's biggest wooden altar, a marvelous masterpiece of Master Paul of Levoca. The entire interior of St.Jakobs is dazzling to the eye. Anyone who has an interest in architecture, art or even a passing interest in history will enjoy a visit, marvelling at the quality of the restored carvings of Master Pawel's school, the 14th century murals, the stained glass windows that sparkle in the sunlight and the centuries old pews, worn and moulded by the previous inhabitants of Levoca. Visitors from England should take note of the statue of St.George slaying the dragon. For tourist purposes, tickets for access must be bought in the shop located opposite the main door of the Cathedral. Guided tours are provided, and books, postcards etc. are available inside.
- Renaissance town hall The building of the Town Hall is attached to a Renaissance tower, which was built between 1656 - 1661 as a bell-tower. There are some expositions of the Spis Museum on the first floor of the Town Hall. Its Session Hall is used for representation purposes.
- the town theater The building of the theater is situated in the impressive surroundings of the monuments in the west of the square. The reopened Town Theater offers a wide variety of theater performances, cultural events, but also facilities for organizing congresses, seminars and various social events.
- Medieval cage of shame It comes from the 16th century and it was used for punishing for minor delinquencies. Its original place was where the Protestant Church is situated now. Later, it belonged to the Probstner family and it was placed in their park, which was situated where the hospital is now. The Cage was given to the town by the Probstner family in 1933 and since then, it has been situated in front of the Town Hall.
- Neo-Classical Lutheran Church - The Lutheran church is mostly empty these days, the congregation for the most part expelled in 1948 due to their ethnic German origin. These days, no more than seventy individuals frequent religious services. When the church is open for visits, a very friendly lady meets you at the main door, and leaflets describing the history of the church are available in Slovak, English, German, and Russian. Walking around the chapel, take note of the grand organ, a gift from the Lutheran community of Berlin from the early 1900's. Their is also a memorial to the inhabitants of Levoca who fell in World War One. Lastly, visitors will notice damp in the building, and it's upkeep is a major strain on the community, so a donation, or the purchase of a few postcards on this otherwise free attraction are gratefully accepted.
- Baroque Church of the Holy Spirit
- Gothic Cloister Located in the Minorite´s Monastery.
- Master Paul's House Where nowadays his museum is located.
- The Large Provincial House Between 1806 - 1826, an architect from the city of Eger, Anton Povolny, built a grandiose administration building, the Large Provincial House, as the seat of the town's administration. He adjusted its Classicistic style to Levoca's Renaissance character by emphasizing the horizontal lines. The House is considered the most beautiful Provincial House all over former Hungary. Today, it is reconstructed and it is a seat of the administration.
- Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Located above the town on the hill with offering spectacular views over the town and countryside
- The Spis Museum Dedicated to ethnology and history of the Spis region. Some sculptures of Master Paul are also on display.
"Levoča Mariánska púť" 1st Sunday of Jun. Large pilgrimage/gathering on the hill around Marianska Hora - up to 250000 can turn up from across Eastern Europe. A good, friendly, carnival atmosphere.
"Dni Majstra Pavla/Days of Master Paul" Occurs before the second weekend of August. Open air fairs (hand crafted souvenirs), folk dancing, open air cinema and a big town square lazer show/disco to round off the weeks festivities.
"Levočské babie leto/ Levoca Indian Summer" Classical musical gathering taking place every year in Oct. Musicians from all over Europe take part in the extravaganza. See www.lblfestival.eu for more info.
- Planeta bar/ cafe - Small, modern cafe bar with a more non-Slovak leaning menu. The food is fine, well priced, the beer is faultless, the staff are welcoming, and they provide a selection of vegetarian options too. Located at the end of the square opposite the Lutheran church, beside an internet cafe, it's worth a visit for either a main meal or a lunchtime snack.
- The Three Apostles - An old style restaurant, opposite St, Jakobs Church. This place is excellent value for money, very comfortable, the staff are accommodating, and the portions really hit the spot, especially if the day has been spent travelleing. A mixture of Slovak, meat, fish dishes are served, and the vegetarian pancake is divine.
- Restaurant Slovensko - This is located directly opposite from where the tourist coaches park on the main square. With a name like Slovensko, obviously Slovak cuisine is what is offered here. Again, it is great value for money, the food is simple, yet tasty, and the staff are friendly. Their pirohy are delicious and for meat eaters, the pig feast defies description.
- Hotel U Leva - The food here is more generic European, and is very tasty indeed. However it is the most expensive in the town, and charging for bread and ice and such, are more like something you find in Prague. Their pasta dishes and salads were very good indeed though.
- Vegetarian - The name says it all. A veggie enclave located just off the main square, and there is is a sign pointing it out. This place servers a mix of salads, Slovak versions of vegetarian dishes, mild curries, tofu dishes, soups and it is also alcohol free. Any Vegan travellers could do a lot worse than to visit. However, it only opens from 11AM-3PM. It is very good value for money.
Anybody who smokes will love the fact that smoking is permitted in the bars in Slovakia, and my, they locals smoke with a nicotine loving nonchalance. For those who don't smoke, and who visit from countries that have a smoking ban, prepare to get used to having smelly clothes and hair again. It would be recommended to have smaller change than a 1000 Krown note when heading out for a beer, as some bars can be low on change.
- Planeta - A cafe bar favored by the younger members of the community. It is trendy, modern bar and is where the local lookers go to preen, pout, pose and have a tipple too. It opens late at the weekends, the music is pop and techno. The prices are great, with a beer coming in at about 0.70 Euro. The toilets are spotless.
- Cafet - This is another of the newer bars, and again, the crowd is young, younger even than Planeta, and it even has its complement of young Goth and Death Metal types. It's a lovely looking bar, with a mix of antique and quirky seats; it's quite arty and literary, and is nice for a quiet read on a hot summer day, or a freezing winter day too for that matter. The only downside is the smoke level, and the toilets can be a bit gross. There is also outdoor seating in Summertime.
- Bar - This is beside Cafet, and is where the local working men drink. It's a no nonsense, drinking bar, a 'local' basically. The inside is not too easy on the eye, but the hardworking owner and staff are very friendly. It also has great outdoor seating in Summer, which I'd recommend using. The toilets are not the best, but after a few beers, who cares?
- Hotel Arkada, Namestie Majstra Pavla 26. The rooms here are furnished in a more old fashioned style, and this is not a disparaging comment. The furnishing is quaint and older than would be expected in other cities and towns, but all rooms are comfortable, and are good value for money. There is a bar also, restaurant, all rooms are en-suite. Rooms E25-63.
- Hotel U leva, Namestie Majstra Pavla 24. This hotel, also listed as a hostel, is the most modern looking in the area. The large, comfortable suites, bedrooms and bathrooms are furnished in a practical but modern manner. Some of the rooms give a great view out onto the main square. There is satellite TV and the breakfast buffet is a great way to prepare for a day of sightseeing, although I have noticed that the buffet is better in summer than at other times of the year. For people who have been backpacking and roughing it, this is a good hotel to recharge ones batteries in. Rooms: E40-94.
- Hotel Satel, Namestie Majstra Pavla 55. This was one of the first hotels in Levoca to be renovated. All the suites are comfortable and some suites are downright luxurious, which obviously is reflected by the four star rating of the hotel, especially some of the beautifully vaulted ceiling rooms. WiFi is available in selected rooms, and in the main hall and the Renaissance gallery courtyard is lovely for al-fresco drinking and dining during the summer. There is a cozy bar and wine bar also. The staff are courteous and friendly too. Rooms E57-94.
Other attractions of the Spis region are nearby.