There isn't a great deal to do in Čičmany, honestly. It shows a village and gives you a re-creation of what life was like in the village and in these houses. The fields and animals are not far away if you look. There are no big restaurants or hotels or giant parking lots or casinos. Modernity here stays at arms length.
There was one house that we visited (I'm sorry i cant remember the name of it) that charged a small entrance fee. It showed a traditional home, the furniture that a villager might have, and talked about how big the families were, and some of the customs they had. Different from small villages anywhere else, not really...but interesting in its own right.
One thing i really didn't understand was how they stayed warm during the cold winters they have here.
By bus- there is a bus from Zilina that will leave you a few kilometres away, youll have to wait for a local bus. (at least 1 hour travel depending on bus schedules)
Highway 64 from Zilina (towards Prievidza-turn right when you see the signs for Čičmany. About 30-45 minutes travel
The traditional wooden construction you see in Čičmany is not entirely unusual. There are several other traditional villages within several hours drive of Čičmany. Not only that, there are similar villages, in terms of wooden construction, in the neighboring Czech Republic as well as to the north in Poland.
I remember the guide telling me that the museum we saw, an example of a traditional home in previous centuries was led by a student from one of the universities in Bratislava, aiming to study the traditional village from a sociological perspective.
The home shows the traditional furnishings and clothing that the villagers would wear. Things were crowded to be sure, there was little privacy and pretty much no luxury at all. But remember, this is a village in a tough part of the country that has survived on agriculture and small herding. There was often not enough to go around. Not surprisingly, a lot of the younger people either left to the city or emigrated to other countries. This saga is a common story in rural villages everywhere...the challenge of making a living in an increasingly more difficult world, the gradual loss of youth and the dilution of traditions.
What sets Čičmany apart is the lovely decorations on the exterior of the houses. The village itself has been around since the 13th century. The locals carved geometric designs, animals, shapes like hearts into their homes. You see this village full of houses mainly in a white on black motif with colorful decorations.
As it turns out, the white paint they used contains a lime varnish that protects the wood from decay. Further, many of the designs on the houses are the same as those designs on local folk clothing.
Cicmany is known for its painted houses. The geometrical white drawings in the dark wood of the constructions creates a strange atmosphere, like something a bit scaring when you walk among the town at night.
The Fujara contest in Cicmany.
From all over Slovakia players are gathering early october to take part of the Fujara competition.
The Fujara is the famous shepehrd's flute of Slovakia, it is played standing.
Since 2008 this music and instrument are part of the cultural world heritage of humanity.
As we arrived in the last days of October, the All Saints day was near. When we went to the street after leaving our baggage at the penzion, it was nightfall. We approached at the church and we saw a little cemetery all plenty of little lights, lonely, because we were all alone in the street of the town. It's a moment that sure I won't forget.
Favorite thing: Cicmany is a small village with nice view on land full of green meadows and time to time you will see sheep or cows ringing by their bells...
Small village in wonderful area of White Carpathian where is the museum of folk culture and some unique wooden houses decorated by white ornaments. When going there take a car and visit also nearby chateau Kunerad and Rajecka Lesna where is the mentioned Wooden Betlehem.
Address: 013 17 Cicmany
Contacts: Tel.: +421 41 562 19 43, +421 41 500 15 11
Fax: +421 41 562 00 33, 500 15 12
Hours open to the public:
January - May
Jun - August
September - December Tu-Su 8:00 - 16:00
Tu-Su 8:00 - 18:00
Tu-Su 8:00 - 16:00