Litomyšl – A Modern Historical Town
Litomyšl can boast of both ancient and modern architecture, a rich social life but at the same time plenty of peace and quiet.
In short Litomyšl provides a calm environment and a chance for the soul to relax. The main attraction in Litomyšl is the Renaissance Castle which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. Its facade and gables decorated with original sgraffiti make it one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Central Europe. The guided tours will take you to the stylishly furnished interiors, the Baroque castle theatre with its preserved stage sets and to the mysterious underground passages, while for families with children a visit to the towers full of ghosts is recommended. By the way when you are taking a look at the sgraffiti figures try to see if it is true what they say, that each of them is original and not repeated anywhere on the walls.
The castle is surrounded by extensive gardens and support facilities – and it was there, in the building of the castle brewery, that the future famous composer Bedřich Smetana was born. The exhibition in the apartment where he was born reminds us of the period of his childhood in Litomyšl and his life.
Between the square and the castle you pass through the Monastery Gardens, the landscaped grounds with a gazebo, café and the sculptures donated to the town by the sculptor O. Zoubek. Lovers of oddities should not miss out on the Portmoneum, the museum of graphics and the author J. Váchal with its unique paintings on the walls. Also worth a trip is the Růžový palouček (Rose Meadow), just a few kilometres west of Litomyšl, a commemorative site where according to legend, during the Thirty Years War the Czech Brethren bade farewell to their homeland before departing into exile.
It is now a town that is aware of its rich history and tradition and is able to draw from it inspiration for further development. It maintains its wealth of monuments but at the same time also makes an effort to have quality modern architecture. It has preserved its essentially small-town character and offers the chance to encounter at least some remnants of the spirit on the 19th century revival in Litomyšle, with its development of a rich cultural and social life, as well as manufacturing and business; and it provides both inhabitants and visitors with a wealth of sports (in its newly built sports complex).
For more information on the quaint east Bohemian town of Litomyšl, which in 2012 was declared the first Czech Spa for the Spirit, see www.litomysl.cz.