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Wooden Churches


Located in the northern part of Transylvania, at the border to Hungary and Ukraine, Maramures region is well-known for its wooden architecture, ornated churches and houses, beautiful carved wooden gates that enchant the eye of the traveler. Catholic or Romanian orthodox, several of these wooden churches have been included on Unesco's World Cultural Heritage List, being well preserved for centuries (the oldest one dating back to 1313) and used continuously until today. With its 52m high tower, the church of Surdesti is one of the highest wooden constructions of Europe.

Interesting might also be the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, unique in the world, as its grave-stones are painted in bright and happy colors and bare funny expressions - one of the numerous examples of the way Romanians handle death and life as an endless circle of nature.

Maramures is also famous for its Jewish minority. Before Hitler's deportations, the Jews were here actually a majority. Ellie Wiesel, Nobel price awarded writer, is originally from Sighetu Marmatiei, one of the largest cities of this region. Visiting his birth-city, one might be amazed also by the diversity of churches and practiced religions. Besides synagogues there are also Lutheran, Catholic, Romanian orthodox and Russian orthodox churches. And for those interested in Communist Romanian history, Sighet offers the unique chance of visiting one of the most famous and feared prisons of the communist era. Let us also not forget about the famous First May spa with its hot springs, where one can enjoy a relaxing holiday. For steam train lovers, the “Mocanita” – one of the very working steam trains in the world - is an absolute must!

Famous are the also the people of Maramures for their warm welcome and friendly hospitality as well as for their locally brewed delicious plum brandy.

maramures carved gatemaramures wooden church

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