Litomyšl Castle is a renaissance style palace in
Litomyšl, 57 km south-east of Hradec Králové and 170 km east of Prague.
Litomyšl Castle History
The 16th-century building is one of the best examples of Czech
Renaissance architecture. In 1567 it was acquired by the Bohemian Chancellor, Vratislav of
Pernštejn, who decided to build a luxurious and imposing family residence there. He summoned
from Prague the court architect Giovanni Battista Aostalli, who was in charge of the project
from 1568 to 1575.
The house was completed by Ulrico Aostalli in 1581. Its plan comprises
a massive three-storey block in four wings around two internal courtyards, with the chapel of
St Michael in the south-east corner. The older medieval buildings were incorporated into the
Renaissance complex in parts of the west and north wings
Three sides of the square courtyard have arcades, supported on the
ground floor by banded piers and on the upper floors by Tuscan and Ionic columns.
The main façade of the north wing is rusticated on the ground floor;
on the upper floors it is decorated with figurative sgraffiti depicting the Battle of the
Milvian Bridge after the painting by Giulio Romano in the Sala di Costantino, Vatican, and
scenes from the story of Samson (in the areas between the windows), inspired by the drawings of
Maarten van Heemskerck, both sets mediated through engravings.
The Litomysl Castle was damaged by fire in 1775 and repaired
during the 1790s. It was then that the theatre was constructed (1796–1797); this has a painted
curtain and decorations by the Viennese court painter Josef Platzer, and it is one of the
oldest theatres preserved in a European great house. In 1950 the town of
Litomyšl and the house were made a
national conservation area; the building now houses the Museum of Czech
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