This beautiful east Bohemian town with a population of ten thousand is situated in the northern foothills of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and is known as a centre of culture and education. In the past it was a diocesan centre, the second in Bohemia after Prague, and the seat of powerful noble families.
The historic centre of the urban conservation zone lining the Loučná River is centred around a long square with arcades. There is also the small adjacent Toulovec Square, a provost´s church and the nearby mysterious Portmoneum with paintings by Josef Váchal.
The town is dominated by Castle Hill, one of the greatest centres of historic monuments in the Czech Republic and abroad. Visitors are overwhelmed by the Baroque block of the Piarist monastery consisting of a former school, a college and the monumental Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross as well as the modern monastery gardens. At the heart of the hill is the beautiful Renaissance Castle with a unique theatre surrounded by an English park and French garden. There is also the chateau brewery, where the composer Bedřich Smetana was born, and former farm buildings reconstructed and transformed into cultural and social venues. The exceptional nature of the castle compound was confirmed in 1999 with its inclusion in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List.
However Litomyšl does not live only in the past. In addition to historic buildings, visitors are also drawn by dozens of award-winning buildings with modern architecture as well as by numerous cultural and social events such as the National Opera Festival known as Smetana’s Litomyšl, the spa season opening, the Gastronomy Festival of M. D. Rettigová and others.
The nearly thousand-year history of the town, its numerous historic sights, beautiful recesses as well as current cultural life create the inimitable local atmosphere and genius loci. It is hardly surprising then that Litomyšl has been declared as the first Czech "Spa of the Spirit".