There is no doubt that everyone knows a fairytale about siblings Hansel and Gretel who has been kidnapped by a bad witch and taken to her gingerbread house – hidden among woods.
But what if I told you, there is one place in the world where you can see the real gingerbread house? Actually, the village full of gingerbread houses!
No kidding, this little village is real and is called Čičmany, located in northern Slovakia in Žilinský Kraj.
If you are bored enough from all of these famous must-see places in the world which everyone knows let’s discover the special one – the hidden gem of Slovakia.
Ok, houses are not made from real gingerbread, but the fact is that they look like you want to eat them.
Čičmany is a picturesque historical village with the first reference as long ago as 1272. This unique village belongs between few places in Slovakia which are so-called open-air museums.
Surrounded by enchanting Strážovské hills full of woods, you can not really decide what is more impressive, the village itself or nature around.
Log houses are hand-painted with ornaments of geometrical and symbolic patterns.
Houses have been originally painted by women only on the corner of the buildings with lime. It served as a protection of logs against the effect of sun rays. After a huge fire in 1921 log houses has been rebuilded with more complex ornamental paintings and village became famous for its unique style.
Special ornamental symbols of the village has been implemented into embroidery and traditional garments as well.
The best time to enjoy Čičmany at its glance is during carnival in February when people are dressed in traditional garments or in costumes, dancing and singing their folklore music.
And I bet you, this time you can even see there that bad witch too.
In winter, Čičmany is changing to a ski resort where you can link sport hobby with culture and history exploration. There are plenty options of accommodation from B&B to the possibility of renting your own “gingerbread” house.
Traveling to Čicmany from Bratislava (capital of Slovakia) offers spectacular views on the Castle of Trenčín and Castle of Beckov on the way.
If you plan to visit Čičmany, you should certainly consider visiting interesting Castle of Trenčín which dates back to the Roman Empire. The castle is built on the steep rock and his majesty can be adorned yet from the highway.
Me and my husband spent one lovely day at Čičmany and has been tempted by this little treasure of northern Slovakia. I must not forget to mention we’ve had lovely dinner at a guest-house Javorina which offers traditional Slovak foods in the home-like interior with welcoming and nice service.
Gallery – click on images to see them enlarged.
© Independent Couple 2015
All pictures taken by my husband Radoslav Cajkovic unless stated otherwise and are subject to copyright.