Litomyšl was established around the trade route that connected Bohemia and Moravia at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th centuries. The dominant feature of the city is the Italianate Renaissance castle with its more than eight thousand examples of sgrafitto, which has been on the UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage List since 1999. Litomyšl is the birthplace of the composer Bedřich Smetana, whose name is commemorated by an annual opera festival. On the 500 metre long square can be found the Gothic town hall and a number of Renaissance and Baroque houses. A walk through the historical streets ending in the monastery gardens is an unforgettable experience. Another interesting sight is the Portmoneum museum with its murals by Josef Váchal. Litomyšl is not only historical, however, for there is a number of modern buildings here and it is proud of the moniker Europe's Blooming City; it is becoming a city of corporate tourism.
Gardens and castle
The renaissance castle from the second half of the 16th century is an excellent example of an arcade castle based on an Italianate style. Despite reconstruction of the interior at the end of the 18th century, outwardly it has retained an almost unadulterated renaissance appearance, including the unique sgrafitto facades and gables. A number of commercial buildings and a garden have also been preserved.