Written by Svajcrova Kamila
Litice Castle stands on a hill near the Town of Zamberk in the Pardubice region, eastern Bohemia. This region is best known for local gingerbread and the national derby horserace “Velka Pardubicka,” traditionally held in October. It holds great historical importance and offers numerous exciting destinations, like Litice Castle.
The Premyslid dynasty established the castle at the end of the 13th century, and Litice was, therefore, a royal property. The first mention of the castle is a charter authored by John of Luxembourg (the father of emperor Charles IV) from the year 1316. In the following years, the castle fell into the lap of the aristocratic Putics family, who already had several castles in the area in their care. In late 1300, Bocek of Kunstat, who was a loyal Hussite follower, bought the castle. This way, George of Podebrady (“the Hussite king”) got hold of the castle in 1427, and Litice became one of the most prominent fortresses in the country. George rebuilt the castle – new walls, gates and main tower – so it could serve as a defensive fortification. By the end of the century, the castle along with its surrounding land and estates was sold to William of Pernstein.
Unfortunately, this noble focused on his many other fortresses under his and Litice castle began to run to seed. In 1562, Nicholas of Buben bought the castle with the surrounding lands and the town of Zamberk, reuniting the estate. However, he did not pay much attention to reconstruction, and Litice continued to decay.
Between the wars, there was a significant effort to restore Litice in order to make it a trip destination for tourists.
Nowadays, the Litice castle looks similar to the version rebuilt by George of Podebrady, as it says above the main gate. The gate with its barbican is a part of the fortification, which include curtain walls and bastions. The main keep with a tall tower, the back keep and other homestead buildings are located at the bailey behind the mighty walls. There are several posterns within these walls leading into courtyards and outside the fortification.
After a thorough reconstruction in the past century, the Litice castle provides for two separate guided tours several times a day from May to October. It also serves as a cultural and educational venue for concerts, school trips, weddings, art exhibitions, and other events.