Have you ever been to Maramures?
No and I don't want to
No but I'd love to
Yes, it was great
Total Votes: 2
Map of Romania - Maramures
The region is famous for its scenary, its traditions, craft and woodwork industry and for its well-preserved churches.
The wooden churches are the expression of artistic maturity. Eight of this churches are included in UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999 because of their cultural legacy.The wooden churches, the nature and the people of Maramures are spiritually connected and have maintained this link to the present day.
What is Maramures?
Maramures is a wood civilization and that can be seen from the beautiful wooden churches. It needs to be reminded that they have a strong collective mentality due to fact that traditions are conserved almost unaltered despite urban influences.
The words that best describe Maramures are “wood” and “water”. On the wood of the churches and gates are carved the history, the tradition and the simple lives of people.
Numerous rivers and streams are spread along the land forming famous valleys : Mara, Iza, Viseu and Vaser.
The Vaser Valley is of a special interest for tourists because it crosses the Maramures Mountains in the middle of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country.
Wooden churches in Maramures
“Mocăniţa”, the steam locomotive, attracts many tourists from all over the country. It ca go up to the end of the valley and back offering people remarkable experiences. It is possible to stop the locomotive and to start a hiking trip.
When traveling up the Valley with the “Mocăniţa”, it must be kept in mind that it’s a journey back in time… After leaving the station the signal of the cell phones is lost and the contact with the modern life as well. It must be a thrilling feeling!
The locomotive steams back from a watering break
The Merry Cemetery
The worldwide fame of Sapânta is due to the unique cemetery that has become an important tourist attraction. Some days the throngs of tourists that assault the cemetery with their cameras ready make one wonder if it really is possible to rest in peace here!
The original character of the cemetery is first of all suggested by its name: Cimitirul Vesel that means The Merry Cemetery. This paradoxical name is due to the vivid colours of the crosses and the amusing or satirical epitaphs carved on them. It is said that this joyful attitude towards death is a legacy of the Dacians who believed in the immortality of the soul and that death was only a passage to a better life. They did not see death as a tragic end, but as a chance to meet with the supreme god, Zalmoxis.
No cross is complete without a short poem, a few simple rhymes (between 7 and 17), carved under the image. The epitaphs are written in the local dialect. Sincere, spontaneous and written in the first person, they are messages from the dead persons to the living world. The style is usually lyrical, but ironic or satirical rhymes are also frequent. Each poem contains the name of the deceased and presents briefly an essential aspect of his/her life, personality or habits; they can even talk about things that happened after the death of the person, at the burial for example, or describe how death occurred. Bad habits are humorously presented, but with a deeply moralizing intent.
One famous epitaph is:
Underneath this heavy cross
Lies my mother-in-law poor
Had she lived three days more
I would be here and she would read
You that are passing by
Try not to wake her up
For if she comes back home
She’ll bite my head off
But I will act in the way
Stay here my dear
The Merry Cemetery from Sapanta