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Levoča , Source: Sebastian Mierzwa, Wikipedia, CC BY SA-4.0 International

Observation tower to offer view over half of Slovakia

Observation tower to offer view over half of Slovakia

Construction works on a peak above the town of Levoča will continue throughout the year

The small town of Levoča in the Prešov Region of eastern Slovakia boasts a historic centre with well preserved Renaissance buildings, including a Gothic church with the highest wooden altar in the world, carved by a local master. And maybe in a couple of years, Levoča residents and guests will be able to see this entire heritage at a glance, from the vantage point of birds, thanks to the lookout tower now under construction above the town.

Construction challenges

The project of Levoča Tourism Association envisages a six-floor observation tower to rise on the top of nearby Javorina Peak, reaching 35 metres in height. The investment is to the tune of EUR 165 000.

The construction poses many challenges as the high-altitude place (1,225 metres above sea level) offers no easy access. “Yet, after we finish it, it will be one of the most beautiful lookout towers not only in Slovakia," the statutory of the Association Ernest Rusnák, who is behind the idea, told Korzár regional newspaper.

City property

The construction site is located in Javorina - Marčulina, which is city-owned property. The Levoča Tourism Association was given permission to use the municipal land for 20 years at a symbolic price, and afterwards, the building will become the property of Levoča.

The project has been divided into stages. Construction work, commissioned to local company Betón Pumpy Spiš, began at the end of last October. Before Christmas, the ground floor of the tower made of reinforced concrete, was completed. The rest of the structure will consist of a metal spiral staircase and wood.

Rusnák hopes that two more floors can be built this year, each five metres high. And at the achieved height of 12.8 meters, the structure will already command a good view.

For the first stage of the project, the Association received a EUR 53 000 grant under the cross-border partnership Interreg VA Poland-Slovakia 2014-2020. Further sources of financing are at the stage of approval, but Rusnák also wants to submit a request for the collection of public donations so that construction work can continue without interruptions.

Slovakia at a glance

When completed, the tower on the southern peak of Javorina, known as Marčulina, should offer a view not just of Levoča and environs, but of half of Slovakia, says Rusnák.

"To the west the view opens to the massif of the Veľká Fatra, with a good pair of binoculars you can see the cable car at Chopok. To the south you can see the ridge of the Volovské Mountain range and the Low Tatras. To the north, there are the mountains in Poland, and to the east, you will see Poloniny in Ukraine beyond the Carpathian range," muses Rusnák. He says that he has drawn inspiration for the project from other lookout towers he has seen in Europe – “about three hundred of them”.

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