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Wooden Houses with Traditional Ornamental Painting in Čičmany

14. 8. 2014


Kľúčové slová


Folk art

Geografická oblast


Žilinský kraj

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Traditional timber houses in Čičmany are famous for their ornamental decorations. The ornaments are inspired by the local embroidery tradition. Owners of private houses preserve the objects in their original state and maintain the spirit and a representative symbol of the village. In 2013, the Čičmany ornament was inscribed on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia. Selected ornaments were used for the design of the dresses of the Slovak Olympic team (London 2012, Sochi 2014).

Locality Čičmany, the Žilina District West Slovakia
Time Permanent
History (cyclicality) Approximately since the 2nd half of the 18th century
Organizer Borsos Béla, Kilián Imre
Realisation team Local citizens
Target group All (locals, tourists)
Traditional culture elements Folk architecture, wooden timber house, ornamental painting, traditional creative expression
Ethnographic criterion Painted wooden architecture has been documented since the 18th century. After the fire in 1921, local citizens had to rebuild their timber houses and started to decorate them with paintings inspired by local embroidery. At present, local citizens continue to protect patterns of traditional embroidery as well as patterns from the documentation dated back before 1921.
Environmental criterion In harmony with environment.
Cultural-historical criterion Wooden painted houses from Čičmany became well-known at the Czechoslovak Ethnographic Exhibition in Prague in 1895. After fires in 1907, 1921 and 1945, the houses remained preserved only in a small part of the village. A deliberate preservation of painted ornaments on wooden houses has intensified after 1972 when local municipality invited local citizens to renew the paintings at the occasion of the village anniversary.
Aesthetic criterion Motifs of ornamental painting relate to the local taste and tradition. Painted houses are a strong aesthetic phenomenon in the village which attracts attention of many tourists.
Ethical criterion There is no ethical problem.
Psychological criterion Local citizens consider their painted wooden houses a specific and representative feature of their local environment that contributes to their identity.

Photo by © Karol Plicka

Photo by © Vladimír Kyseľ


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