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History In 1098 a monastery was founded near the trade route joining Bohemia with Moravia. The monastery became an important centre for the region, and under its walls a settlement grew up, which became a town in 1259. In 1344 a bishopric was set up in Litomysl at the same time as the Prague archbishopric was established.
In 1421 the Hussite army turned against Litomysl. The city gave up voluntarily, but four years later it was taken again by a radical Hussite wing and there was a furious battle for the castle hill. Bishop fled and with the burning of the Bishop's Palace the bishopric disappeared.
From 1568 to 1581 a Renaissance chateau was build in the location of the former Bishop's palace. It was to become one of the most beautiful buildings in the country, thanks also to its beautiful graffiti decoration.
After 1640, the Piarists settled in Litomysl. They built a new monastery boosted the cultural growth of the town. The Piarists were an educational order: they began teaching in schools that originally stood on the site of today's church in 1644. The philosophical institute, opened as part of the Piarist grammar school in the 17th century, was of great importance for further cultural development in the city.
Throughout the 18th century the city fought against a series of fires - throughout the Czech lands there was a saying "it is burning like Litomysl". There were also floods and war damage. In 1775 a catastrophic fire hit the city, followed by a flood in 1781.
Litomysl dramatically experienced the revolutionary events of 1848. In March that year a student legion was established and a city guard was formed shortly afterwards. A section of the students and the city guard fought in June that year in Prague armed uprising.The importance of Litomysl decreased in the late 19th century.
During the Second World War the city's Jewish community was liquidated. The post-war evacation of the German population changed the national structure of the region. In 1949 the first Smetana's Litomysl opera festival took place in the castle grounds. This has been held to this day - today it is a festival with a wide dramatic range and is of great renown. It is also one of the most important cultural events in the city. Since 1974 the Young Smetana's Litomysl festival, an event for young musicians, has also taken place.

The meeting of the Central European presidents, which took place in 1994 at the invitation of President Vaclav Havel was a significant event; this was followed one year later by a visit of the King of Spain. The last main change to the appearance of the city was the reconstruction of the monastery gardens and their opening to the public in September 2000.
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