Levoča is a small, but charming town in eastern Slovakia that is still protected (or at least surrounded) by its medieval stone wall. Although the town was already prosperous and well developed for two centuries, a massive fire in 1550 erased most of the original Gothic architecture. The residents rebuilt, but did so in the style of the day, thus transforming Levoča into the Renaissance town we see today.
Most of the town's historic sites are concentrated around Master Paul's Square (Nám Majstra Pavla), named after the master carver who created the massive wooden altar in the town's St. Jacob's (or St. James) Church. (Although the main square is named in his honor, little else is known about Master Paul because the 1550 fire also destroyed all documents related to his work and ancestry.)
Within the square also stands a Renaissance town hall, that has since been converted into a museum. The walls of the building are decorated with various paintings encouraging the citizens to lead a virtuous life. Nearby stands the 16th century "cage of shame", where those who lead a less than virtuous life were displayed as a public humiliation. The square is lined with the well-preserved houses of the merchants that once made Levoča the Hungarian Kingdom's most prosperous trading center.