For everyone from Eastern Slovakia (or borders of HU/PL/UA) bored on casual summer days is there a short, max. 20 minutes long tour to the castle of Čičva located near the towns of Humenné and Vranov n/Topľou. To experience the best day on Čičva I recommend you to bring a picnic kit and food with you to not to have just like 1hour trip but a whole-day amazing experience, because you know…who else can say he was camping on the castle hill with views over the valley underneath?
Čičva, also known as Čičava are the ruins of castle from the 13th century, standing on a forested promontory of Beskyd hills above the village of Sedliská – local part Podčičva. It´s located south from the large water tank Domaša at an altitude of 205m. The castle damaged last Rákóczi´s uprising in 1711 and since then can there be found only ruins. From the castle hill are really distant views, that´s why I recommended you to have a picnic there.
Čičva castle was in 1963 declared as a cultural monument.
In the year 1270 was first mentioned the territory where the castle stands today as Chichywa, in the letter from Hungarian king Stephen V. to the nobleman Reynold given to him for faithful service and merit shown on expeditions of the royal army. Later in 1316 was the castle itself first mentioned as castrum Chychowa, Chychua in a document that Master Peter, probably Reynold‘s grandson, gave Nicholas Peres, castellan of the Čičva castle, for a successful defense of the castle.
The castle was probably built between 1309 – 1316 and became a guard at the pass of “Polish Gate” (Porta Polonica). It was the center of the vast estate, which included more than 60 villages.
In 1527 it was the county seat and seat of archive of Zemplínska stolica, Zemplin stool. In the same year John Zápoľský conquered the castle and burned it. During the fire was also damaged the whole archive of Zemplin stool. However, the castle was renovated and repaired again.
In 1575 took place in the nearby town of Vranov Topľou wedding ceremony of Francis Nádasdy and Elizabeth Báthory. Part of a bride’s dowry was also Čičva castle. In 1610 it got into the hands of Elizabeth´s daughter Katarina, who married George Druget from Humenné. This castle got into the hands of Drugets, who contributed it to its greatest expansion.
In 1684 was the castle captured by Thokoly troops. In 1704 it was seized by troops of Francis II. Rákoczi. The damaged parts were repaired and secured. In the hands of Rákoczi insurgents was Čičva until 1711, when the Rákoczi commander Francis Barkóci sided with the imperial army and gave them the castle that has the imperial general Laucken soon demolished.
The castle is since 2014 in reconstruction, all over the area are noticeable progresses of reconstruction works. Surrounding of the castle is cleaned from the trees and trash and available freely for the visitors.
How to get to the Čičva castle?
- from the town of Vranov nad Topľou by blue sign which begins on the bus and train station. On the Dubina crossroads is blue changed to green and you follow the green until the end. This tour lasts apx. 3 hours.
- from the village of Benkovce by green sign. This tour is apx. 2 hours long.
- this is the fastest and least difficult way to get up there, it´s from the village of Sedliská-Podčičva and you are up on the castle by steep slope in less than 15 minutes.
I think it´s a great idea to spend a summer (or even autumn) day like this, just don´t forget to bring some water with you!