Romanian Province Maramures
Location: the region of Maramures is situated in the north-western side of Romania, bordering Ukraine republic to the north, Bucovina to the east, Transylvania to the south and Crisana to the west.
Landscape: The hilly depression of Maramures is surrounded by the north-western side of Gutai and Tibles volcanic mountains, and by the crystalline mountains of Rodna and Maramures in the south and east. This depression is cut by the parallel valleys of Viseu and Iza rivers and it concentrates most of the natural and anthropogenic tourist values of the area.
Highlights: Attractive are also the architectural monuments: the wooden churches of Bogdan-Voda, Ieud, Rozavlea, Barsana, or Budesti, some having slender towers over 50 m high.
Also unique is the “Merry Cemetery” of Sapanta, where a short satirical description of the person’s way of living and death is found on almost every cross.
History: The area being naturally isolated from the rest of the country, the natives developed during the centuries a unique material and spiritual civilization, based on wood processing, farming on the terraces and mining the metals, including gold and silver. The true artistic values were created in the domain of wood processing – wood sculpture, wood house building and tool making. The famous Maramures’ wooden gates impress by the powerful artistic sense and by the natives philosophical view upon life and death. Motifs of the Sun, flowers and various geometric patterns show optimism and vigour.
The art of wool working from carpets to their traditional costumes should also be mentioned, as a particular aspect of the Maramures land. Used especially on holidays, these beautiful and original costumes are impressive due to their colors and genuineness.