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Smetanovo Square with the town hall and the Church of the Finding the Holy Cross
Smetanovo Square with the town hall and the Church of the Finding the Holy Cross
Flag of Litomyšl
Coat of arms of Litomyšl
Litomyšl is located in Czech Republic
Location in the Czech Republic
Coordinates: 49°52′19″N 16°18′38″E / 49.87194°N 16.31056°E / 49.87194; 16.31056Coordinates: 49°52′19″N 16°18′38″E / 49.87194°N 16.31056°E / 49.87194; 16.31056
Country Czech Republic
First mentioned981
 • MayorDaniel Brýdl
 • Total33.44 km2 (12.91 sq mi)
330 m (1,080 ft)
 • Total9,914
 • Density300/km2 (770/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
570 01
Official nameLitomyšl Castle
CriteriaCultural: (ii)(iv)
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)
Area4.25 ha (0.0164 sq mi)
Buffer zone118.13 ha (0.4561 sq mi)

Litomyšl ([ˈlɪtomɪʃl̩] (listen); German: Leitomischl) is a town in Svitavy District in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 9,900 inhabitants. It is former bishopric and Latin Catholic titular see. Litomyšl is known for the château-type castle complex of the Litomyšl Castle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic town centre with the castle complex is well preserved and is protected by law as an urban monument reservation.

Administrative parts[edit]

Litomyšl is made up of town parts of Lány, Litomyšl-město, Nedošín, Zahájí and Záhradí, and villages of Kornice, Nová Ves u Litomyšle, Pazucha, Pohodlí and Suchá. Nová Ves u Litomyšle and Pohodlí form an exclave of the municipal territory.


Litomyšl is located about 16 kilometres (10 mi) northwest of Svitavy and 41 km (25 mi) southeast of Pardubice. It lies in the Svitavy Uplands. The town is situated on the Loučná river. There are several fish ponds in the municipal territory, the largest is Velký Košíř in the western part.


Litomyšl Castle

The first written mention of Litomyšl is from 981. It is a record in Chronica Boemorum mentioning death of Duke Slavník. Litomyšl was originally a protective fortified settlement of the Slavník dynasty principality on a significant trade route from Bohemia to Moravia. In 1259, Litomyšl was promoted to a town by King Ottokar II of Bohemia.[2]

During the following centuries the town was owned by various noble families: Kostka of Postupice, Pernštejn, Trauttmansdorff, Waldstein-Wartemberg and last Thurn und Taxis. The Litomyšl Castle was built in 1568–1581 by Pernštejns.[2]

From 30 April 1344 till its suppression in 1474 the town was the seat of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Leitomischl until its territory was merged back into the (meanwhile Metropolitan Arch) Diocese of Prague. In 1970 it was nominally restored as titular see.[3]

In the 19th century, Litomyšl ceased to be the main economical centre of the region, but remained the cultural and educational centre.[2] Until 1918 Leitomischl – Litomyšl was a part of the Austrian monarchy (Austrian side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district with the same name, one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften or "okresní hejtmanství" in Bohemia.[4]

Existence of the Jewish community is documented at least from the late 16th century. During the Holocaust in 1942, the last families were deported.[5] Litomyšl had a German-speaking community until it was expelled in 1945 as a result of the Beneš decrees.


Historical population
Source: Censuses[6][7]


Since 1946, the town hosts Smetanova Litomyšl, a large annual festival of classical music. It bears the name of the composer Bedřich Smetana, who is the most famous local native.[8]

There is an extensive permanent exhibition of Olbram Zoubek's sculptures and art in Litomyšl Castle Vault Gallery.[9]


Until the late 19th century, the Litomyšl area had its own unique variety of the Czech language. This variety, named Teták by linguist Henning Andersen (after its word for "five", /tet/, as opposed to Standard Czech pět /pjet/), underwent an unusual sound change: bilabial consonants (/p/, /b/, /m/) became alveolars (/t/, /d/, /n/) before front vowels. Examples are /tekɲe/ ("nicely"; Standard Czech pěkně), /diːlej/ ("white"; Standard Czech bílý), or /nesto/ ("town"; Standard Czech město).[10]


House U Rytířů

The main landmark of Litomyšl is the Litomyšl Castle, one of the largest Renaissance castles. The buildings of the castle precincts are exceptional for their architectural refinement. The castle complex also includes the birthplace of Bedřich Smetana, carriage house, stables, riding school, castle brewery, castle park and French-style garden. The castle complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.[11]

Neyt to the castle is the Piarist college with the seat of members of the order, the Church of the Finding the Holy Cross and adjacent monastery gardens. Today the gardens serve as a town park. The gardens include sculptures by Olbram Zoubek.[11]

On the elongated square, which is almost 500 metres (1,600 ft) long and one of the largest in Central Europe, is a town hall of Gothic origin and series of Renaissance and Baroque houses, many with arcades and vaulted ground floor rooms. One of the most significant burgher houses is the house U Rytířů ("At the Knights"), a Renaissance house built from 1540 to 1546 with a notable stone façade.[11]

Litomyšl is also home to the "Portmoneum", a museum of the artist and writer Josef Váchal in the home of his admirer Josef Portman, who commissioned Váchal's murals and painted furniture in the house.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Statue of Bedřich Smetana on the Smetanovo Square

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Litomyšl is twinned with:[12]


  1. ^ "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2022". Czech Statistical Office. 2022-04-29.
  2. ^ a b c "Základní údaje o Litomyšli" (in Czech). Město Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  3. ^ "Titular Episcopal See of Litomyšl". GCatholic. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  4. ^ Klein, Wilhelm (1967). Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890.
  5. ^ "O židech v Litomyšli" (in Czech). Město Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  6. ^ "Historický lexikon obcí České republiky 1869–2011 – Okres Svitavy" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. 2015-12-21. pp. 7–8.
  7. ^ "Population Census 2021: Population by sex". Public Database. Czech Statistical Office. 2021-03-27.
  8. ^ "Historie festivalu" (in Czech). Smetanova Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  9. ^ "O sklepení" (in Czech). Zámecké sklepení Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  10. ^ Andersen, Henning. "Abductive and Deductive Change". Language. Linguistic Society of America. 49 (4): 765–793. doi:10.2307/412063.
  11. ^ a b c d "Nenechte si ujít" (in Czech). Město Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-14.
  12. ^ "Partnerská města" (in Czech). Město Litomyšl. Retrieved 2021-10-13.

External links[edit]