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Altar of Master Paul

The Roman-Catholic Church of St. Jacob
is a witness of the exceptional position and cultural level of Levoca, formerly
called “the Queen of Spiš”, which is the most significant town in the Spiš area.

The church belongs among the largest
Gothic churches in Slovakia. However, from the viewpoint of the extraordinary
cultural and artistic value of its interior, it ranges with the most remarkable
ecclesiastical buildings in Europe.

Its construction started at the
beginning of the 14th century and was finished in 1380. During the next several
decades its internal walls were covered by fresco, which transformed the church
into a gallery of medieval art. From 1508 to 1517, the main altar was created by
Master Pavol of Levoca, one of the most famous European medieval carvers. Thanks
to this altar the church has become famous all over the world.

This unique masterpiece by Master
Pavol is the highest winged Gothic altar in the world. It is 18.67 meters high
with 6 x 4 meters wings. He created three more-than-lifesize central figures in
the altar’s cabinet (a Madonna of 2.5 meters and Sts. Jacob and John of 2.3
meters each), and a composition of the Lord’s Supper is in the lower part of the
altar.

Translator: Irina Habajová