The tiny village of Čičmany (population 204) looks just like it did hundreds of years ago, untouched by time. But this is no ordinary preservation area. The village is full of black timber houses, each one decorated with intricate traditional patterns in white lime paint. Literally street after street is lined with folk art.
Although the records of the village at Čičmany date back to the 13th century, covering the houses in lacy, geometric and stylized patterns is a much later tradition. It began around 200 years ago, when white lime would be used to help preserve damaged wood. The image of the bright lime pigment on the dark wood was striking, and people began elaborating on themes, eventually covering most of the timber-frame structures with remarkably uniform designs.
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