Litomyšl is a city in the very eastern part of Bohemia, in the Pardubice Region, 18 km northwest of the district city Svitava. In 1824, the significant Czech music composer Bedřich Smetana was born in Litomyšl.
Litomyšl was established on the site of an old defence fortress on the Trstěnicka route connecting Bohemia with Moravia at the turn of the 11th century. In the middle of the 12th century, Olomouc Bishop Jindřich Zdík invited to Premonstrate Order to Litomyšl and in 1145 he founded the Premonstrate monastery, Olivetska Hora. In 1259 Litomyšl was promoted to a city. In 1344, Karel IV established the Litomyšl episcopacy. In 1421 and 1425 the Hussites attacked the city and caused extensive damages. In 1568-1581 Vratislav of Pernstein commissioned the Litomyšl Chateau to be built, whose main architect was Giovanni Battista Aostalli. In 1649 the Pernsteins sold the estate to the Trautmannsdorfs, through wedlock it came into the ownership of the Waldsteins – Vartemberks and the last owners were the Thurn-Taxis after 1855. During World War II, the present day Jewish community was destroyed.
The main attraction of the city is the unique Renaissance chateau with more than eight thousand graphite works. The chateau has been entered into the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1999. On the 500 m long square you can find the Gothic town hall and a number of Renaissance and Baroque buildings with so-called arcades. Among the most significant is the Renaissance house U Rytířů from the 16th century which now houses a gallery. A stroll along the lanes ending at the Monastery Gardens with the statues of Olbram Zoubek is an unforgettable experience. No visitor should forget to see the exposition in the Regional Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Litomyšl. Other expositions definitely worth visiting are in the Museum of Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, the Museum in Juneé Tower, the Portmoneum or the family home of Bedřich Smetana.
Thanks to the dynamic development of modern architecture and infrastructure of various services over the past years, a quality foundation for active leisure time has been created. The offer of traditional and untraditional cultural events and the high standard of conference space attract more and more visitors here. Litomyšl boasts the nickname Flourishing European City and is gradually becoming a city of congress tourism.
Overview of annual significant cultural events:
- March - Magdalena Dobromila Rettig’s Salon
- May - Majáles
- June - July – International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl
- July - August – fairytale and folklore concert marathon Toulovcovy Summer Holiday Friday’s
- July – Festivities on the Pink Field – Ethnography celebration to commemorate the Czech Brethren
- July – International interpretation courses and Chamber music friend meeting
- July - August – International strings courses
- September – presentation of young interpreters of classical music Mladá Smetanova Litomyšl (Young Smetana’s Litomyšl)
- September – Old-fashioned Jarmark
- December – Advent market
Sources: http://www.vychodni-cechy.info; http://www.litomysl.cz