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Levoca

Trip Planner Europe  /  Slovakia  /  Presov Region  /  Levoca
Levoča is a town in the Prešov Region of eastern Slovakia with a population of 14,600. The town has a historic center with a well preserved town wall, a Renaissance church with the highest wooden altar in the world, carved by Master Paul of Levoča, and many other Renaissance buildings.On 28 June 2009, Levoča was added by UNESCO to its World Heritage List.HistoryLevoča is located in the historical region of Spiš (formerly Szepes), which was inhabited as early as the Stone Age. In the 11th century, this region was conquered and, subsequently, became part of the Kingdom of Hungary and remained such until 1918. After the Mongol invasions of 1241/1242, the area was also settled by Germans. The town became the capital of the Association of Spiš Germans, with a form of self-rule within the Kingdom of Hungary. The oldest written reference to the city of Levoča dates back to 1249. In 1317, Levoča (at that time generally known by the German name of Leutschau - see Chronology below for lists of changing names) received the status of a royal town. In 1321 a wide storing right was granted enticing merchants, craftsmen and mine owners to settle in this town.In the 15th century the town, located on an intersection of trade routes between Poland and Hungary, became a rich center of commerce. It exported iron, copper, furs, leather, corn, and wine. At the same time the town became an important cultural centre. The English humanist Leonard Cox taught around 1520 in a school in Levoča. The bookseller Brewer from Wittenberg transformed his bookstore in a prolific printing plant, that lasted for 150 years. Finally, one of the best-known medieval woodcarvers Master Paul of Levoča settled here.
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