Maramures is a remote region in the extreme north of the country. This is the place where ancient traditions, the folk costumes and old art are preserved like nowhere else in Romania. It is virtually a vast museum in open air. The landscape is beautiful, too.
Due to the relative isolation of their land, the people of Maramures developed a particularly strong community, with unique personality and traditions. It is probably the richest place in Romania in authentic ethnographic and folklore elements. Men are amazingly skillful wood carvers, and you shouldn’t be surprised that all the old houses and churches are entirely made of wood. The most respected man in the village is the one who has the biggest and most elaborately carved front gate. The women, on the other hand, weave woolen clothes and blankets, in red-white-black patterns and the traditional outfit is still proudly worn every day. But both men and women have a wit and humor that traveled way beyond their land. They are famous for the merry way they write on their tombstones. Here is an example from the cemetery of Sapanta:
“Here lies my mother-in-law.
Had she lived another year,
I would have lied here.”
Maramures is a intriguing place, where you can be amazed by the mingling of modern and old habits, such as wearing traditional handmade clothes and shoes, but washing them with Tide.
The UNESCO world cultural heritage includes 7 types of monuments and cultural objectives in Romania, all of which are considered great tourist attractions. The UNESCO list features 8 churches and monasteries from Bukovina, 8 wooden churches from Maramures, 5 Dacian citadels in the Orastie Mountains, the Hurezi monastery in the southern region of Oltenia, the Sighisoara mediaeval citadel, the Danube Delta biosphere reserve and the Saxon fortified villages and churches in Transylvania.