Bohemian-Moravian Borderlands

In the picturesque region of the Bohemian-Moravian Borderlands, there is an area comprised of the historical towns of Svitavy, Litomyšl, Polička, Vysoké Mýto and Moravská Třebová. These towns with the tradition of nearly thousand years are attractive not only to history buffs, but also to anyone who appreciates valuable cultural experiences, natural beauties, unique technical monuments, active holidays or relaxation.

Svitavy is one of the region's most significant districts. The town justifiably prides itself on its beautiful renovated main square that features a gorgeous arcade through which Svitavy's most famous native, Oskar Schindler, undoubtedly walked. The town museum has a permanent exhibition dedicated to Oskar Schindler. A monument that stands across from the house he grew up in also commemorates his courageous deeds. In addition to the Oskar Schindler exhibition, the museum houses a unique collection of old and present-day washing machines and other sophisticated appliances used for cleaning and mending clothes.

On your way from Hradec Králové to Litomyšl be sure to stop and visit the royal dowry town of Vysoké Mýto, which features the largest rectangular square in Bohemia. The centre of the town is surrounded by remains of the town walls with commemorative plaques and three entrance gates with towers. The race track grounds are a popular attraction and offer rides and safety courses.

Litomyšl is a history buff's paradise. Here you will discover an enchanting Renaissance castle that has been entered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It has a splendid sgraffito-decorated facade and houses a spectacular theatre. Litomyšl is also the home of the Portmoneum - the Museum of Josef Váchal, Josef Váchal being a prominent writer and mystic. Additionally, you can visit the Red Tower, which is the most remarkable preserved part of the city fortifications. While relaxing in the gardens belonging to a restored cloister and featuring statues by Olbram Zoubek, you can try to guess which celebrated Czech composer was born in the castle brewery. The name of the Litomyšl's annual International Opera Festival Smetana's Litomyšl should give you a hint. After getting your fill of cultural experiences, you will likely appreciate a soothing stroll in the captivating countryside. The nearby Toulovcovy maštale (Toulovec Stables) seem to be made expressly for this purpose. It is an area of sandstone formations of various shapes and names that form an intricate labyrinth. According to ancient legend, it was the hideaway of the robber baron Toulovec. However, you need not fear him today as you enter his lair.

On your way to Polička you can make a stop at the newly renovated Rococo Castle in Nové Hrady, which is often called "the Czech Versailles". You can also visit the First Czech Museum of Cycling there.

Polička - town, which was built as the dowry for the Czech queens, will surely grab your attention thanks to its picturesqueness. The well preserved town walls with a walkway accessible to the public and nineteen semi-circular towers around the entire historical centre of the town are definitely worth seeing. In the tower of the Church of St. James you can see the the birthplace of another famous musical composer of the region Bohuslav Martinů. When resting on the charming square, on which stand baroque gems (town hall, Marian column and statues on town fountains), which have been classified as a national cultural heritage since May 2008, try to listen for the rustle of the underground sea, which is supposed to lie below Polička, as the legend says.

When heading east of Svitavy, don't pass up the opportunity to visit another one of this region's beautiful towns - Moravská Třebová. The castle deserves the greatest amount of attention. It was built on the site of what was originally an old castle from which only a Renaissance gate was preserved. This gate is one of our oldest relics from the beginning of the Renaissance period. At present, you can visit the castle and view its museum's collection.

In the close vicinity of Moravská Třebová you have the opportunity to visit a truly unique technical monument. The little village of Mladějov is home to a museum that features nearly all types of industrial locomotives and from which an eleven kilometre narrow-gauge railway runs through several meadows and forests to Hřebeč. In the summer the museum provides regularly scheduled trips on model steam trains that are bound to please every romantic. Other fascinating events taking place here include the re-enactments of famous battles of our nation's history.

And what kind of a region would this be if it did not have any nice medieval castles? Svojanov, founded by Přemysl Otakar II, is their stately representative.

Ottendorf´s House.
Svojanov Castle.
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