Levoca Off The Beaten Path

  • Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.
    Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin...
    by balhannah
  • Spiský hrad
    Spiský hrad
    by balhannah
  • Spiský hrad
    Spiský hrad
    by balhannah

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Levoca

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    UNESCO LISTED SPISKY HRAD

    by balhannah Updated Feb 2, 2014

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    In the car and heading towards Kosice we see some ruins of quite a big Castle! The closer we get, the larger the ruins become. We find out this is Spišský hrad, one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe and that its UNESCO listed - we had better go for a look.

    Disappointment - The Castle closes at 4pm in April.

    Let me tell you a little about it then.
    The castle was built here in the 12th century and up to 1464 belonged to the Kings of Hungary.
    This Romanesque stone castle with fortifications and a two-story Romanesque palace and a three-nave Romanesque-Gothic basilica must have been very impressive, even in ruins it is impressive! More buildings were added in the 14th century, doubling the size of the Castle. In the 15th century, it was completely rebuilt, the walls were heightened and it was added to again! The Castle was inhabited until the 18th century and also burnt to the ground in the same century. In the 20th century, reconstruction of the Castle began.

    The castle has been used in the films Dragonheart (1996), Phoenix, Kull the Conqueror (1997), The Lion in Winter (2003), The Last Legion (2006).

    If you have better luck then me, the Castle has a small Museum of canons, guns and armour.
    There is a large car-park, souvenir shop and somewhere to buy food

    Please check the excellent website for virtual tours of the Castle and lots of photos.

    OPEN.
    March, April Daily 10- 4PM
    May - October Daily 9-7PM

    ADMISSION
    Adults 5,00 €
    Discounted admission 3,00 €
    Family admission (children under 15 years) 12,00 €

    NIGHT TOUR
    Adults 6,00 €
    Discounted admission 3,50 €

    ADDRESS - Námestie Majstra Pavla è.40 , Levoèa , 05401

    Spisk�� hrad Spisk�� hrad Spisk�� hrad Spisk�� hrad
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    • Castles and Palaces

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    BASILICA OF THE VISITATION OF THE VIRGIN MARY

    by balhannah Updated Feb 1, 2014

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    This was another sight we saw from Levoca, a church on Marian Hill - the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary.
    This is one of the oldest and most important pilgrimage sites in Slovakia.

    Of course I wanted to find our way to it, not too hard at all with our car. We followed the road until we could go no further and parked in a car park near the church.
    This Church was painted a pretty lemon and white, and isn't that old. It was built between the years 1906 and 1922. A much older church from the 13th century used to stand here.
    It's thought the local people may have used the Church as a refuge when the Tatar invasions were happening.
    An increasing number of pilgrims visiting the site necessitated the need for a larger church, so Pope John Paul II, at the request of the local bishop, upgraded the church to a Basilica Minor in 1984, and visited the site himself on July 3, 1995, when about 650,000 pilgrims gathered for the occasion.

    Every year, an annual pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands pilgrims attend the the Feast of the Visitation, on or around the 2nd July.
    Marian Hill has the largest number of pilgrims attending a pilgrimage site in Slovakia and it's ranked among the world pilgrimage site.

    I did notice a walking track at the top leading down the hill, so I imagine you can walk the 2kms to here.
    From the top, there are wonderful far reaching views of Levoca and the surrounding countryside.

    Inside the Basilica are many wonderful stained glass windows, a beautiful Altar, ancient wall hangings and most importantly, the ancient wooden carving of the Virgin Mary, the reason why the pilgrims come here.

    TO FIND THE ROAD TO MARIAN HILL
    As we headed on the main road towards Kosice, a signpost to the left said to Marian Hill. The road is Sadova which leads into Ovocinarska and then to the Church - a no -through road.

    Window in Church Commemorating the Popes visit. Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. Beaut views from Marian Hill
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    Spissky Stvrtok-Zapolsky's Chapel

    by prleprle Updated Jul 29, 2008

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    In 1473, Zapolsky's Chapel was built to the church. It is one of the highlights of Gothic architecture in Slovakia. Originally it was intended as the funeral chapel of the Zapolsky family. It has winding stairs with the upper part. An underground passageway connects the chapel with the convent. In the upper part, a suspension choir with railing stands out.
    It is really amazing to find such a "high-Gothic" sturcture in village like this one in the middle of Slovakia. Gothic architecture is well perserved in Slovakia but this is something exceptional.

    Zapolsky's Chapel, Spissky Stvrtok, Slovakia Zapolsky's Chapel, Spissky Stvrtok, Slovakia Zapolsky's Chapel, Spissky Stvrtok, Slovakia
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    Spissky Stvrtok-St. Ladislav's Church

    by prleprle Updated Jul 29, 2008

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    Spissky Stvrtok is an small village on the important crossroad in the region. Main attraction of the village is an beautifull church on the top of the small hill. The oldest enduring written mention of the village is from 1263. It is mentioned under the names Stwertek, Čtwrtek and later Štvrtok (Thursday), in accordance with the market that took place in the village on that day. In 1412 it became the seat of the Province of the 16 Spis towns (those which were not a part of the pledge by the Polish King).
    St. Ladislav's Church was built before Tartars' raid. It is known this due to the Romanesque windows on the church's tower. In 1402, a new Gothic church with one nave was built. The tower is built in both Romanesque and Gothic style. This is my favourite church in whole Slovakia... really beautifull, ancient, excellent position... it's great just to be there... even on an very windy day as we did.

    St. Ladislav's Church, Spissky Stvrtok, Slovakia St. Ladislav's Church-tower, Spissky Stvrtok, SK St. Ladislav's Church-door, Spissky Stvrtok, SK Around Spissky Stvrtok, Slovakia
    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    Spis Hrad - Spis Castle

    by kit_mc Updated Dec 12, 2006

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    This magnificant castle, one of the largest in central Europe, truly looks like something out of a gothic horror film. It stands on a rocky outcrop above the town of Spisske Podhradie.

    The castle is about a 2km walk up the hill from the town of Spisske Podhradie. Coming here from Levoca, catch the bus from namestie Stefana Kluberta.

    I'd recommend getting off the bus a moment or two earlier at Spisska Kapitula. From here you can get some great initial views of the castle framed by this old ecclesiastical settlement.

    Spis Castle from Spisska Kapitula
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    Church on the Hill

    by barryg23 Updated Sep 15, 2006

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    As we were exploring Levoca we noticed a church on a hill in the distance overlooking the town. We hoped to find time to visit the church but we did so many day trips from Levoca that it wasn't possible. Such a pity as the views of the town must be amazing. The church is about 2km north of Levoca, on Marianska Hill. I've also read that every year, on the first weekend in July, there is a religious pilgrimage to the church. There are great views of the church from Vetrova street, just north of the main square, and from the restaurant in Hotel Barbakan.

    Church on the Hill - in the distance

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    House in Town Walls

    by barryg23 Updated Sep 15, 2006

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    Levoca is surrounded by town walls and there is a walkway around the walls below the road. We did parts of this walk a few times every day on our way to and from the bus station and one of the nicest things we saw was this lovely looking house (see picture), build into the eastern walls, which looked forgotten and abandoned.

    House in Town Walls

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    Spisska Kapitula

    by kit_mc Updated Jan 9, 2005

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    The old ecclesiastical settlement of Spisska Kapitula lies on a ridge just above the town of Spisske Podhradie, about a 15 minute bus ride from Levoca.

    Catch the bus from namestie Stefana Kluberta, just by the north east city gate of Levoca. Make sure you ask the driver to let you off at Spisska Kapitula or ask a friendly local on the bus. You stop the bus by pressing the white button in the ceiling.

    Spisske Podhradie is an easy 5 minute walk down the hill from Kapitula.

    Spisska Kapitula
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