Village of Čičmany: A Great Example of Folk Architecture

Čičmany is a small Slovakian folk village located in the hilly Žilina region of Slovakia. The village is famous for its timber buildings decorated with intricate traditional patterns. The history of the village dates back to the 13th century, however, the stylized patterns are a later tradition that began around 200 years ago when white limestone was being used to protect the timber against the sun rays, moisture, and cracking.

Village of Čičmany

The first ornaments were made by the women of the village. First, they used mud but later switched to lime to preserve the damaged wood. The white paint on black timber was visually striking so people began to create elaborate geometrical and ethnographic designs. In 1921 a fire had almost destroyed the village therefore many buildings had to be restored. The Slovakian government helped with funding the restoration period of Čičmany to preserve it as an ethnographical exhibit. In the 1970s, the authorities wanted to place some concrete buildings but the people protested against it.

The Village of Čičmany is a great example of folkloric architecture, which is also known as vernacular architecture. In 1977, it was established as the world’s first folk architecture reserve which ensured the protection of the buildings and their unique cultural heritage.


The local folk costumes, dances, and the local folk music of the village have been preserved as well.

Village of Čičmany
Village of Čičmany
Village of Čičmany
Village of Čičmany