Smetana House was built between 1903 and 1905 on the spot formerly occupied by the Karlov summer residence, whose Great Hall held the first concert by little Bedřich Smetana. It is a masterwork of Neo-Renaissance architecture with early Secession elements and was built according to plans by J. Šula, V. Šulc, and J. Velfík. J. Kreml presided over the construction, and the exterior relief work was executed by A. Popp and O. Walter. The opulent exterior reflects the rich interior ornamentation. The Great and Lesser Halls, as well as others, were decorated by Rudolf Hamršmíd and A. Kulhánek, with a drop curtain painted by František Urban. Smetana House was officially opened on June 11, 1905 with an amateur performance of the opera Dalibor, in which famous personalities participated, including the writer Alois Jirásek and F. A. Šubrt, director of the National Theater.
From this point on, Smetana House has functioned as a cultural center; concerts, theater performances, balls, and social gatherings are held here. Moreover, it serves as a home for many of Litomyšl’s associations, ensembles, and amateur troupes. The Great Hall tends to be used for Smetana’s Litomyšl programs – primarily for chamber concerts, but also for theater performances with a musical theme, which are frequently included in the festival’s artistic content.
With the balcony, the auditorium capacity is 487 seats plus space for locating two wheelchairs. The audience is arranged in successively raised rows and is divided into three sections according to their distance from the stage. Nonetheless, there is good sound quality and visibility from all seats.