When you find the border between Bohemia and Moravia on a map and look closely in its northern half, you will find Litomyšl. This town is the pearl of the Svitavy District in the Pardubice Region. Not only it is the birthplace of Bedřich Smetana, one of the most significant composers of all times, but also a beautifully kept municipality which hosts important music events including Smetanova Litomyšl (Smetana’s Litomyšl).
This charming town with just over 10.000 inhabitants has a lot to offer. The music is always present and the locals are proud of their cultural heritage. All the main sights and the center can be easily reached on foot and you will do right to sit down in one of the few but cozy cafés and let the noble atmosphere of this place work its charm.
The Renaissance castle is the dominant feature of Litomyšl and was declared a UNESCO Site in 1999. Although the courtyard and the French-style garden are the first places the tourists go to, we recommend especially the garden behind the castle. It’s a beautiful piece of nature right in the center with a vibe of wilderness and several great corners for the children to play. Especially in summer the kids will appreciate the rivulet in the very back of the garden while the whole family can sit down for a picnic in the shadows of the trees. If you look closely at the wall surrounding the garden you will notice an old lion statue. It is believed to grant a wish to those who whisper it in the lion’s ear.
The castle complex has several parts, the most important of them being the beer brewery and Bedřich Smetana’s flat.
The Monastery and its Gardens
The piarist monastery with its church and garden is right across the street from the castle. What used to be a wild bush 20 years ago is now a beautiful park with a café and a place of encounter for many. What is very memorable of this place are the unique statues by Olbram Zoubek.
The monastery used to serve as accommodation but nowadays it’s closed to the public. However, you can enjoy a night view from the tower of its Church of Finding of the Holy Cross.
This elongated square consists of many well-preserved historical buildings with arcades on both sides. Although of high historical value, most of the buildings serve a practical purpose. You’ll find here bakeries, butcher’s and even an ironmongery.
We encourage you to walk up from the main square because you’ll find lots of interesting details in the side streets. And believe us, there are many. Until you can admire them in person, we share some of them with you:
And where to go with children?
We have already mentioned the castle gardens and the monastery gardens, both are great places for a picnic. And we’ve told you about the playground next to the castle. There’s also a new playground in Vodní Valy, the largest playground of the town: