The natural dominant and symbol of the Pardubice region is the Castle on Kuneticka hora (Kunetice Mountain).
The Pardubice manor stands on the site of the original country house which was built most probably at the end of the 13th
century. In the following century it changed into a water castle. When the manor belonged to Vilem of Pernstejn
(+1521) it was reconstructed and the eastern wing was added. Vilem's sons continued with these additions and adaptations but in early Renaissance style. The architect Ulrico Aostalli built a large representation hall on the second floor of the northern wing, decorated the facade of the manor with sgraffiti and built Renaissance gables (1574-1579). Even though the site of the manor was built as a fortress in the beginning of the 16th
century, it also proved its defensive qualities during the Thirty Years War when it was besieged in vain several times.
The Pardubice manor is a rare example of the transition between castle and manor. There is no other such site in this country with a late Gothic fortification system
. Large fragments of the early Renaissance painting decoration have been preserved in the three knight halls of the southern wing. The scene from the Old Testament story of Samson and Dalila in the Vojtech Hall dates back to 1532 and represents the oldest known Renaissance wall painting in the territory of Bohemia.
The manor serves as a museum and a picture gallery and it is, of course, open to the public. Next to one of the corners of the site of the manor is the historic centre of the city which is also noteworthy.
The twentieth century has been marked by incessant efforts to preserve, repair and reconstruct the Kuneticka hora Castle. In 1917, the Castle
was rented to the Pardubice Museum Society which subsequently purchased it in 1919. The Kunetice Cooperative provided for the preservation and reconstruction of endangered parts of the Castle in the period between the two world wars. At present the Castle is in the care of the Pardubice Conservation Institute. The Kuneticka hora Foundation, which was set up in 1994, also strives to halt the Castle's devastation and to restore it to life.
The Pardubice Castle is once again coming to the forefront of attention, both among experts and among the general public. It was built in the late Gothic style
at the site of a former moated castle by Vilem of Pernstejn when he decided to make it his new seat in 1491. The Castle with its uniquely preserved original disposition, separated from the "rest of the world" by massive ground ramparts, is unequalled in the Czech Lands. Due to its far-reaching ramparts the Castle covers almost the same area as the town's historical centre. The Castle changed owners many times in the course of history with each new resident carrying out repairs and reconstruction.
In 1880 the Pardubice Museum Society
rented some parts of the Castle to deposit its museum collections there, and in 1920 purchased the whole Castle. After the Second World War it became the seat of cultural institutions (museum, gallery, conservation institute, and temporarily also the town's archives). Long-term reconstruction of the whole Castle was launched in 1975. In 1994 the Castle was brought under the administration of the East Bohemian Museum. One by one, its individual parts are now being opened to the public to host various social and representative events and present rich museum collections