Polička city is situated near the land border between Bohemia and Moravia, in the basin along the Bílé Stream, about 17 km west of Svitava. Polička is the entry gate to one of the most beautiful corners of the Czech-Moravian Highlands - Žďárských vrchů (Zdar Hills).
In 1265 Polička was established by Přemysl Otakar II as a royal town. 1421 was a critical time for Polička, which was plundered by the troops of Zikmund Lucemburg. Polička thrived from the patronage of the kings of the Jagellonec family. In 1547 it was active in the rebellion against Ferdinand I of Hapsburg, for which it was severely punished though. The city was infamously marked by the Thirty Years War, the Swedish and Imperial army came here several times. The city began flourishing in the 18th century with its Baroque reconstruction. The Baroque style dominated until 1845 when only 4 of the 237 stone houses of the time remained undamaged after a fire broke out. In 1890, the world famous music composer Bohuslav Martinu was born here. In 1896, the first train arrived in Polička from Svitava, which launched the industrial boom of the city.
Polička boasts uniquely conserved city walls, which belong among the most conserved city walls in all of Central Europe. One of the most ornate Marian columns in the Czech Republic adorns the square, plus the Baroque town hall housing expositions of the city gallery. The focal point of the city is the Church of St. Jacob, in whose tower the music composer Bohuslav Martinu was born. One of the oldest Czech castles belongs to the city – Svojanov Castle.
Overview of annual significant cultural events:
- April - festival for jazz enthusiasts Polička Jazz
- May – music festival Martinů Fest
- May – multi-genre open-air music festival Poličské Rockoupání
- June – international multicultural festival Colour Meeting Polička
- August – summer multi-genre music festival Polička 555
Sources: http://www.policka.org; http://cs.wikipedia.org; http://www.vychodni-cechy.info