Land of wooden churches, mythological richness, impressive landscapes and very ancient customs, Maramures has carefully maintained the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of a medieval peasant past. With its strong rural character it attracts people to its villages, traditions and wonderful costumes, preserved here as nowhere else in Romania.
Named “Boldly Old World”, Maramures was included in National Geographic Traveler’s best trips 2015.
“…In the historic Land of Maramureș, the hills are alive with ways long forgotten elsewhere in Europe. “My cows don’t like grass that is cut with a machine,” Ion Pop says while harvesting his meadow near the village of Botiza. “They prefer the clean taste of handcut.”
The splendor is not just in the grass. In this remote northwest corner of Romania 300 miles from Bucharest, the schedule is set by the seasons, the weather, and tradition. In each of the five valleys, with their meandering rivers and haystack-dotted fields, life plays out as it has for hundreds of years—though one recent change is telling. Rather than asphalting roads that are mainly used by horse and carriage, Maramureș has newly upgraded its bike trails—pathways to experience the region at the pace it deserves.
Maramureș is a wooden world. The farm tools are made of wood, and wooden gates, chiseled with century-old motifs, form the glorious entrances to modest yards around wooden, steep-roofed houses. UNESCO-designated churches from the 17th and 18th centuries tell stories of faith and glory, saints and sinners, crime and punishment, through still vivid paintings on their wooden walls.
Many of the colorful wooden crosses at the Merry Cemetery in the village of Săpânța are inscribed with lighthearted epitaphs written in verse. They laugh in the face of death—and hence celebrate immortality. — Pancras Dijk, National Geograhic Traveler”