The Čičva Castle also belonged to the Báthory family

The ruins of the Čičva Castle rise above the village of Sedliská. It is well visible as it is located on a low hill. It was built in the 14th century as a guard castle on the trade route to Poland. The builders chose his place so that they could control the surrounding landscape from it. Thanks to its location, there are still beautiful views of the ruins. 

The Čičva Castle was the center of a large estate, which included more than 60 municipalities. It experienced its golden age in the 16th century when it became a county assembly and the seat of the archive of the Zemplín capital. The legendary Book of Lies and Liars is also connected to this period, which was known throughout Slovakia as the "Čičavská kniha". All the lies, including the name of the impostor who uttered them, were recorded in it. The book has not been preserved to this day.

Čičva's Castle seemed to attract important medieval events. At the end of the 16th century, František Nádašdy's married Alžbeta Báthory in nearby Vranov nad Topľou. The wedding was notorious, more than 4500 guests were invited. Emperor Maximilian was also to come. Countess Alžbeta, who was only 15 years old, received the castle as a wedding dowry, and 35 years later in 1610, it was again given to Alžbeta's daughter Katarína, who married Juraj Drugeth of Humenné. After further changes of ownership, after 1711, Imperial General Laucken finally had the Čičva castle demolished.

The ruin can be reached in two roads. One is shorter with a steep climb, while the other leads through the village. The first one starts right in the parking lot under the castle rampart, for a while, you climb up it next to the local cemetery until you reach the rock massif on which the cross is built and the chapel of the Virgin Mary is carved in the rock. The road leads through the forest and is quite steep, but short. In this part, there is also a crypt of the Barkóczy family.

The second road leads through Sedliská, from the bus stop between the family houses to the playground under the castle. From there, the path leads through the forest to the castle hill. It is lined with information boards from which you can learn more about the world of bees and beekeepers. Under the castle ruins in the courtyard there is a space for sitting and relaxing, there is a fireplace, benches and tables for a pleasant picnic. The route is undemanding and suitable for families with small children. The civic association Pro Futuro of Čičva Castle takes care of the renovation of the castle. For those who want to refresh themselves after visiting the ruins, there is a restaurant by the main road. 

One more interesting. It is said that an underground passage led from the Čičva castle to the Vranov water castle. Legend has it that a horse-drawn carriage could have passed through it. Archaeological research has revealed a connecting corridor between the north and west palaces of the palace. It is rare in that it created its vaults from brick blocks, which they used mainly in Poland. Such architecture was very unique in Slovakia. However, based on the decision of the monument office, the corridor was filled in and its restoration will be started later, so as not to endanger the statics of the repaired walls, which had to be solved as a matter of priority.

More information at: www.hradcicva.sk

Photo source: OOCR HZ a HŠ, For the future of Čičva castle