Slovakia’s most perfectly preserved, walled medieval Old Town (stare mesto) is one of the many reasons Bardejov belongs on any tour of the country. And it’s why UNESCO awarded World Heritage Site status to this small city in the northeast. Settled by Saxon weavers in the 12th century, Bardejov became a prosperous center of the textile trade over the next 300 years. Ironically, its economic decline in the 18th century is the very reason that practically nothing changed. Seven original bastions of the Gothic fortification system are still standing.

What to see:

* Main square (radnicne namestie)
Cobblestones and gabled merchant houses in gothic and renaissance styles.
* Church of Saint Giles (sv Egidia)
11 rare Gothic wooden wing alters and stone tabernacle from 15th c. More info
* Saris Museum (Sarisske Muzeum)
Part is in the Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall (Radnice namestie). But be sure to also see the extraordinary Saris Icon Museum in a separate building off the main square.More Info
* Old Jewish quarter
An 18th c. synagogue
* Bardejovske kupele
The spa town outside Bardejov not only has healing thermal springs, but also a wonderful outdoor museum (part of the Saris Museum) with wooden and thatch-roofed buildings built in the Ruthenian/Rusyn folk tradition. (http://www.kupele-bj.sk/aindex.html)

Interested in the Ruthenian heritage?

Bardejov is a good base for exploring the easternmost section of the country, where you’ll find the most Greek Catholic wooden churches and the Andy Warhol Museum. (Warhol’s parents were Ruthenians from this area.)