At the borders of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in Eastern Bohemia, we find Litomyšl, one of the most charming towns in our republic. It is approximately 170 km from the capital city of Prague, and although it is small in size and has a population of approximately 10,000, there can be no doubt about its historical and cultural significance.
Information for visitors
Interesting facts Litomyšl
History of the town
The first mention of the town of Litomyšl is related to the so-called Trsteník Trail, a trade route that connected Bohemia with Moravia, but actually passed from St. Petersburg to West Germany. In historical sources, we learn about Litomyšl for the first time from Kosma's Czech chronicle, which refers to the year 981. At that time, there was a guard castle in the place of present-day Litomyšl, which was supposed to protect the local estate and probably also the Trsteník Trail. Originally, it was the dominion of the Slavníkovci and after their extinction it belonged to the Přemyslids.
During the 12th century, the Bishop of Olomouc Jindřich Zdík brought Premonstratensian monks to Litomyšl, for which a monastery was built on the site of today's chateau. It was a relatively important center for the surroundings of Litomyšl and its importance increased even after Přemysl Otakar II. he promoted the settlement to a city.
In connection with the establishment of the Prague Archbishopric and the Olomouc Diocese, an Augustinian order was brought here on the initiative of the Bishop of Olomouc, Jan of Wednesday, for which a monastery church was established, which later became a provost's church.
During the Hussite struggles, Litomyšl was besieged and occupied several times, and later the Unity of Brethren found refuge here, but only until the new owner of the Litomyšl estate began to take harsh action against them. That owner was Vratislav of Pernštejn, and it was he who made significant history by rebuilding the original castle into a Renaissance chateau.
After the end of the Thirty Years' War, the estate was in the hands of the Trautmannsdorfs, who built a Piarist church here.
Throughout the 18th century, Litomyšl was very often caught in fires, due to which the appearance of the town has always changed a bit. The original burgher houses underwent Empire alterations, however, the castle has remained Renaissance until today.
However, Litomyšl is also a city of modern architecture, for whose projects competitions are announced, in which the leading architects of our republic participate. The Red Tower was reconstructed, two primary schools, a tennis and squash hall, a sports complex and others were built. The city is constantly growing, over the last twenty years, new family houses have been built here and investments are also being made in industrial areas.
Sights and interesting places
The unequivocal landmark and biggest attraction of Litomyšl is the local Renaissance chateau, near which there is also the Regional Museum and especially the pearl of Litomyšl - monastic gardens, which are together with the chateau inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Directly opposite the chateau building we find the chateau brewery with the birthplace of the most famous native of Litomyšl, Bedřich Smetana. Every year, the world-famous Smetana's Litomyšl Festival is also held in Litomyšl.
The square in Litomyšl is also named after Bedřich Smetana, where, in addition to the plague column, the town hall and the burgher houses, we can also find the Renaissance house U rytířů from the 16th century.
Of the church buildings, the Church of the Finding of St. Crosses with dormitory and the Church of the Exaltation of St. Crosses with rectory.
A pleasant walk around Litomyšl can be directed, for example, to the nearby Růžový palouček or to Toulovcovy maštalí.
Author: Andrea Štyndlová