About Maramures: Lying in the northernmost part of Romania at the border with Ukraine,
Maramures is made up of four zones called “lands”, each with its distinct historical
evolution: Maramures Land, Chioaru Land, Lapus Land and Baia Mare Land. Maramures is
the region where ancient traditions, the folk costumes and old art are preserved like
nowhere else in Romania.
Maramures virtually is a vast museum in open air. Here, more particularly in the Maramures
Land, people still use home appliances and implements that otherwise can be seen only in museums.
That is why the village is the primordial element of tourism in Maramures.
The tourists attending one of the folk celebrations such as Tanjaua of Hoteni
(around 10 th of May), Hora of Prislop (around 15 th of August), Sambra Oilor
or a day of a patron of one of the most important churches will be impressed
by the spirit, light and colour discharged by the folk customs, art and costumes.
The wooden churches are true folk art masterpieces. One comes across them in almost
all Maramures villages being even landmarks on a world plane: the tallest wooden
building in Europe used to be, until not long ago, the church of the nunnery in Barsana
– 62 m high, being topped by the church of monastery from Sapanta – 72 m high.
The oldest wooden church – 1364 – is to be found in Ieud (restored several times).
The carved gates need no special introduction as they have for a long time
now been the symbol of Maramures. They can be admired in the villages along the valleys
of Iza, Mara or Cosau. The same stand valid for the folk costumes.
One point should nonetheless be made, namely that many locals wear them every day,
not only on Sundays as in other parts of the country. Among the gems of Maramures
“The Merry Cemetery” holds a special place. It is unique in the world and is located
in the village Sapanta which also excells in other specific handicrafts:
wool bed spreads, towels, small purses and other.
Ocna Sugatag spa stands out through its hot or cold salty baths and the lake
formed when the salt mine collapsed. To those fond of mountaineering the Rodna
Mountains reveal unique landscapes, a rich flora and fauna, including the
Pietrosul Rodnei Natural Reserve protected by law since 1932.
Unique is also the Vaser Valley opening from Viseu de Sus. Along approximately
50 km , a narrow-track train driven by a steam locomotive take tourists to a
wild valley with waterfalls and tunnels. Sighetu Marmatiei is an important
tourist and cultural centre. Worth mentioning is the Ethnography and Folk Art
Museum, with an outdoor section: The Village Museum.
An already famous Festival of Winter Folk Customs and Traditions is hosted
by Sighet every year at 27 th of December. Also here one may visit the former
prison now called “Memorial to Arrested Thought” and arranged as museum.
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