The Maramures is a rural region in the north-west of Romania. The Maramures is famous for its wonderful landscapes and particularly for its ancient wooden churches constructed without using machinery. In the 1999, eight churches, those of the villages of Barsana, Budesti, Desesti, Ieud, Plopis, Poienile Izei, Rogoz and Sudesti, have been declared Patrimony of the Humanity by Unesco. In the villages of the Mara and Iza valleys, the time seems to have been stopped: the life in the campaigns slides away simple and slow as once, and during the festivity days the traditional dresses are still worn. Sighetu Marmatiei is located just on the border with the Ucraina and it is the town the more to the north of Rumania. A few kilometers from Sighetu there is Sapanta, a village famous just for its Happy Cemetery. In 1935 the artist Ioan Stan Patras began to make the crosses for the old cemetery of the village. Patras painted all the crosses of blue and engraved on each of them the life of the defunct, illustrated with figures in relief just as in a comic-strip. He also described the life of each person with a short and funny epitaph. The cemetery assumed a happy aspect and began to attract also simple visitors. Patra died in 1977. Its disciple, Dumitro Pop, has continued his art and transformed the house of the master in a small museum.
To know more:
Reportage: 100 photos on CD-ROM