Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Czech Republic : East Bohemia : Litomyšl
Litomyšl (German: Leitomischl) is a small city (10,000 inhabitants) in Eastern Bohemia. Its renaissance chateau is one of the twelve Czech sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the town is famous as the birth place of composer Bedřich Smetana.
The first historical mention of Litomyšl dates back to 981, when there was a castle protecting an important trade route between Bohemia and Moravia. Under the protection of the castle, a settlement began to rise.
In the 12th century the order of Premonstrates came to Litomyšl. Due to their colonization and cultural efforts, the settlement's importance rose dramatically and it was promoted to the city level in 1259. Medieval Litomyšl was the third most important Czech city (after Prague and Olomouc), becoming a seat of a bishop in 1344 by decree of Roman Emperor Charles IV. However, as a catholic stronghold, it was burned down by the Hussite rebellion and the bishopric has never been restored.
Later during the industrial revolution, the council decided that it did not want the main railroad (from Prague to Olomouc) going through the city. That is why Litomyšl remained a relatively small, quiet town with an almost untouched historical centre, making it the true jewel of Eastern Bohemia.
There is a good highway covering about 60% of the way from Prague (the rest is also acceptable).
There is also reasonably good public transport from both Bohemia (Prague and other cities) and Moravia (Brno, Olomouc, etc.), as well as from Slovakia (Bratislava or Austria (Wien). All departure times and details can be found on the online timetables but the main options are:
Probably the most scenic way (if you travel from Prague) to get to Litomyšl is to go by "fast train" (rychlik in Czech, it is marked red on all tables) from Prague Main Station (Hlavni Nadrazi, red metro) to Choceň, and then take the "personal train" (osobni vlak, marked green) to Litomyšl. It is cheap, safe, you travel with ordinary Czech folks, and the journey takes about 3h.
If you prefer a more straightforward way and you travel from Prague, take a direct bus from Prague, Florenc (red and yellow metro). The buses are quite frequent and take about 3h. Direct buses from Olomouc take 1h 40m, direct buses from Brno about 2h.
If you need a faster way, take a fast train or EuroCity or InterCity (but not SuperCity Pendolino) from Prague Main Station (Hlavni Nadrazi, red metro) or Brno, Olomouc, Bratislava or Wien to Česká Třebova, and take a bus to Litomyšl from there. This reduces the travel time from Prague to about 2h 20m.
The historic centre of Litomyšl is small enough to cover on foot. The bus and train stations are a five minute and ten minute walk from the centre, respectively.
There are plenty of places around town selling local wines.
The bar at the Station serves beer for a remarkable 10,50;- CZK about €0,36 (there won't be many places cheaper than this anywhere.)
You have to get out the way you came in through the highway.