Smetana's Litomyšl / venues

The Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross

The Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross was finished in 1378 as part of an Augustinian monastery. It was founded by Litomyšl’s bishop at the time, John of Neumarkt, Charles IV’s learned court chancellor. The monastery was demolished by the Hussites and ceased to exist; the church was damaged not only by Hussites, but by many fires, which afflicted Litomyšl as a whole on account of the city’s dense construction. Repairs resulted in a mix of styles, but its Gothic appearance has been preserved primarily in the Chapel of St. Joseph on the south side of the presbytery. A large part of the church’s furnishings are Baroque from the second half of the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, the church was partially re-Gothicized in a number of phases, acquiring the main outlines of its current appearance in this way – even some of the current furniture is Neo-Gothic. The church’s importance was reaffirmed in 1994 when a collegiate chapter was established here it for the 650th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Litomyšl.

May of 2000 saw the consecration of a new organ built by the company Vladimír Grygar – Varhany Prostějov. One of the largest instruments in Eastern Bohemia, it was designed to accommodate the interpretation of music from all styles and periods. Many famous organists have already tried it out during the performances of the Smetana’s Litomyšl festival.

During organ concerts, the entire church nave as well as the presbytery are used for spectators; the capacity is 480 seats plus two spaces for wheelchairs. For concerts where the performers enter through the presbytery, the capacity is somewhat diminished. The acoustics are good throughout the whole church; however, many spots don’t allow for a perfect view. Places with diminished or minimal viewing, in Section C, are sold for a significantly lower price. Seats are not numbered, so we recommend selecting your seat as soon as possible.

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