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Bardejov, Slovakia

Bardejov is a town in North-Eastern Slovakia. It is situated in the Šariš region and has about 33,000 inhabitants. The spa town, mentioned for the first time in 1241, exhibits numerous cultural monuments in its completely intact medieval town center. The town is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Bardejov is dominated by the monumental church of Sv. Aegidius, mentioned for the first time in 1247. A three nave basilica with multiple chapels was completed by the 15th century. It hosts eleven precious Gothic winged altars with panel paintings. The central square (Slovak: Radni?né námestie), which used to be the town’s medieval marketplace, is now surrounded by well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance burghers’ houses. One of the most interesting buildings is the town hall, built in 1505. The lower part was built in the Gothic style, while the upper part was finished in the Renaissance style. The fortification system and town walls date from the 14th and 15th centuries and is listed by the European Fund ofCultural Heritage as one of the most elaborate and best preserved medieval fortifications in Slovakia.

About 2.5 km (1.5 miles) north of Bardejov is the spa town Bardejovské Kúpele. The therapeutic mineral water springs are claimed to be beneficial to people with oncological, blood circulation, and digestive tract problems. It also hosts anopen air museum of folk architecture (skansen). The spa has played host to a number of dignitaries, including Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma (the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.

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