A different world full with traditions from very old times
I love seeing and discovering people in their natural being and not changed by society. I love to see places where nothing changed with the pass of the years, it stayed as natural as always and it fills my heart of joy when I see all those people being happy about who they are. So it's been a long time now I wanted to visit Maramures, a place in the northern Romania at the border with Ukraine where traditions are still kept to this day.
I'll show you the route we followed, but this is just a tiny part of the amazing area. If you have time, stay longer, you'll love it, we only had a day which is far from being enough, but something is always better than nothing
Leaving your host in Ieud
as I was mentionining in an eralier post we stayed at "Casa Traditiilor" which is a great place to start your experience
Wooden Monasteries in the morning
First stop is in the village of Ieud for the local Monastery from Ieud Deal.
It was built in the early 17th century, it is one of eight buildings that make up the wooden churches of Maramures UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is built early 17th century and was recognized in 1900 by Ioan Mihalyi de Apsa (Romanian Historian) as one of the most beautiful wooden churches in the are
the main wall structure of the church is done out of spruce wood beans connected with each other through "cuptytye" type of grooves for sealing the walls. The "roof" is made out of oak wood as it is more exposed to rain and snow.
if you managed to start early you can beat the crowds at Barsana, one of the best well kept villages with wooden monasteries. Even at the entrance of the village you'll see the exquisite skills in crafting the wood in the area
The entrance fee is very cheep if I remember correctly 4 or 5 RON which is approx 1 Euro. If you would like to take pictures you would have to pay a tax of 2Euro but I would say it is completely worth it.
The village, attested documentary or the first time in 1326 and is the host of one of the most beautiful monasteries in Romania: Barsana Monastery, actually a convent with fourteen nuns. (Source)
If you want to find more details about this amazing place we have in Romania, check out the guide of travelguideromania
Merry Cementery Sapanta
There was this guy, called Dumitru Pop who did not think that death should be a sad experience but something rather for people to see in a more happy way, this is how he started to create funny grave stones with a little funny story from the persons life and so this special cemetery was brought to life.
If you are not with a Romanian ask around to see if someone can translate some of the messages on the crosses.
the road around Maramures is part of the experience, you'll have a lot of very typical activities, local houses or the wonderful haystacks to spot around.
one of the most important sights from Sighetul Marmatiei is the Memorial of the Victims of the Communism and of the Resistance. It was recently opened in a former prison, which was kept with all the cells and tells the story of the communistic times. The main information is in Romanian, but you do have a book translated in several languages to guide your visit.
I was a bit disappointed about the "Blue" Lake which was clearly green when we arrived, I am not saying you should not give it a try as you might get lucky and enjoy some gorgeous views.
Here what we did.
Here what we did.
- Check the Website
- put on your GPS: Baia Sprie
- Get until the church, and right before it turn left
- follow the markings
if you don't have a 4x4 it will be not easy to get till close, but if you have the time you can do it as a hike trip. They have 1 or 2 forest tables in case you packed something to snack with you
one interesting aspect is the way the houses in the area are painted, it's not only Calinesti, but also others that have this very cute outside designes
I will cover a separate post about the steam train experience and you won't manage to cover this in the same day, you'll need to stay an extra day separately...which I highly recommend
is a mountain pass (1.416m) in Northern Romania, connection Maramures region to Bucovina over the Rodna Mountains, in the Eastern Carpathians. The views are absolutely amazing and you should for sure take your time to take in all the fresh mountain air.
and on top the beautiful views, you might also have the chance to spot the shepherds and their sheep :)
Now you know a bit of how this magic land looks like :) hope you'll get the chance to visit soon.