Litomyšl Castle

Litomyšl Castle is a renaissance-style palace in Litomyšl, 57 km south-east of Hradec Králové and 170 km east of Prague.

Litomysl Castle

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.

Castle Litomysl

The house was completed by Ulrico Aostalli in 1581. Its plan comprises a massive three-story block in four wings around two internal courtyards, with the chapel of St Michael in the southeast 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.

Castle Litomysl courtyard aracdes

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 Music.

Litomyšl Castle Map

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