SURROUDINGS OF LEVOCA
Surroundings of Levoca
The town of Levoca is dominated by a steep hill with a Neo-Gothic church- MARIANSKA HORA. It is one of the oldest and most important pilgrimage places in Slovakia. At the beginning of July annual pilgrimages take place. It is supposed that a chapel on Marianska hora was built by the Spis people to thank for survival at this place in times of Tartar raids in 1241 - 1242. This place might have been the haven of the town's citizens from the Tartars in a fortified fort-hill. A chapel on the hill under the hill-fort was bulit to commemorate the event, and annual thanksgiving processions started to take place.The people from neighboring villages joined the processions, which was the beginning of the first pilgrimage tradition. A new church for the pilgrims was built in 1906-1914. Its Neo-Gothic altar was consecrated on 2 July 1922 by the Spis bishop Jan Vojtassak. Today, a modern pilgrimage house is here as well. The church was promoted to Basilica Minor in 1984. Coming to Marianska hora is a source of spiritual energy for thousands of pilgrims each year. In 1955 the Pope visited the place during his stay in Slovakia.
In the direction of Levocska dolina the CAMPSITE-KOVACOVA VILA is situated. Its oldest part originated in the first half of the 19th century and its name is derived from the first owners. There are accomodation and boarding facilities in this splendid countryside. Nearby, there is a lake with the area of 3.5 ha providing water sports and fishing facilities. The buildings of former Levoca's public baths are near the campsite. In the Levoca valley, there is another culture and nature momument - Kohlwald- to be visited. The chalet, standing in the shadow of ancient limetrees, used to be a meeting place for the Stur's supporters. Today, there is a literary and ethnographic exposition of the Spis Museum. Following the road via Levocska dolina, we get to the typical ancient village of Zavada with well-presreved folk architecture. This place in beautiful countryside, with cross-country ski-runs, ski slopes, ski lifts and other services, with accomodation facilities, became the center of winter sports.