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Levoca - Slovakia

Levoca Church of Marianska hora

Levoca is the image of old Slovakia. Situated high on a hill, the walled town is apparently cut off from modern life. The central square is open and peaceful, surrounded by old artisans houses. Many of these have gables painted with frescos. In the square is the 15th Century Church of St James, with its elegant spire, and the Gothic town hall complete with Renaissance arcades and more murals.

The town within the walls is UNESCO listed - it's easy to see why, with a series of peaceful streets evocative of a much older time. The walls are alomst complete still - on the southern side there is also a moat - while to the north and east the walls tower over the vallery below.

Situated on a hill just outside Levoca is the Church of Marianska hora, a place of pilgramage to Slovakia's many Catholics. The church has amazing views of the surrounding valleys and hills and is reached by a steep climb up a pedestrianised road. A more interesting approach can be made from furthe up the valley - this climbs through deep forest before emerging on the hill behind the church.

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