The monastery gardens can be found next to the former Piarist monastery, between the two Litomysl churches. They are not far from the castle on the hill above the city, and during the recent reconstruction they were restored to become imposing city gardens.
The area that is today the monastery gardens was once the site of the Presbytery Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross, the Piarist monastery with the church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and the August printing house. The monastery gardens were always meant to be both useful and ornamental. During the period before the construction of the baroque Piarist church, the gardens were renaissance in appearance. Later versions were in baroque style, but there were still market gardens and an orchard. In the section of the gardens by the presbytery church there were both the Catholic and Protestant cemeteries. Today the gardens are closed off by old and new marly limestone walls, which in parts run along the lines of the original city ramparts. The gardens were used and maintained late as the 1930's - following the departure of the Piarists from Litomysl in 1948 the gardens were left to grow wild, and from that time onwards they were unused and closed to the public.
The gardens are in the immediate vicinity of the major dominating features of the city and are in a strategic position in the centre of the city monument reservation, and it was because of this that the city decided to restore them to a dignified condition. In October 1997 a public tender was announced, the subject of which was the "architectural design of the Monastery Gardens area as a public city park and gardens". The aim was to create a quiet place for inhabitants of the city and visitors to enjoy at the centre of the castle hill. Over twenty architectural companies took part in the tender; the winner was Zdenek Sendler from Brno.
The main motives of the winning design are "gardens - theatre, theatre - gardens (dominant features in the form of the churches with a view of the historical city in the background)", the geometric perception of the area and the linking of the gardens to the castle grounds and the city.
In 1999 reconstruction work began, and continued for more than one year. Following completion the monastery gardens were officially opened on 2nd October 2000 as part of the European Heritage Days by holding a non-traditional wedding ceremony in the presence of several mayors of historic cities and almost three thousand other visitors and guests.
The gardens are more than one hectare in are. The visitor can find a summerhouse with a view of the city, a "chess board" made up of perennials and flowerbeds. The lawn areas are designed for walking and resting purposes. At the centre of the gardens there is a pool with a mist fountain and sculpture donated by the sculptor Olbram Zoubek. There are also public conveniences, and in the building of the former carriage house there is a shop with refreshments, and a place where visitors may sit in pleasantly restored surroundings. The entire area is automatically irrigated and lit (using several means - all-night energy saving, evening and lighting for special occasions).
The monastery gardens are open to the public from April until October from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm, and from November until March from 8.00 am until 7.00 pm.