The Merry Cemetery in Maramures County is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in Romania. The colorful tombstones and unique epitaphs never fail to draw in tourists.
The cemetery can be found in the Sapanta village in Maramures County.
What to See
The place is filled with tombstones with naive art. The artwork illustrates in a highly original way scenes from the individual’s life. The cemetery is not far off a church that is being constructed. There are also a few people selling souvenir items nearby. Many of the wood crosses are blue in color.
The cemetery is now an open-air museum and very popular with tourists. Apart form the colorful tombstones, the visitor will also see how differently the Dacian culture view death.
Unlike the rest of Europe (and other countries in the world), death is not seen as an occasion for grief. Their belief in eternal life allows them to look at death as a joyous occasion.
The origin of the Merry Cemetery in Maramures County is connected to Stan Ion Patras. Patras was a local artist who was the said to be the first to sculpt tombstone crosses there. By the end of the 1960s, more than 800 crosses had been carved similar to those made by Patras.
The cost of getting there depends on where you are coming from and what mode of transport you use. Express train tickets may cost $16 to $25. The subway ticket comes up to $ 1.
Bus tickets cost $ 0.6. If buying Romanian goods, you have to pay in Lei, the Romanian currency. If you plan to stay in upscale hotels in Bucharest, the cost can be as high as that in Western European countries.
Reading the epitaphs can be an absorbing experience. One is about a veterinarian and the cows he treated. Another is about a person who got hit by a car. There is also one about a man complaining how difficult life is.
While you are at Sapanta, you can also get guidebooks from the stores nearby. It can get very cold in December, so you may want to visit before or after the winter season.
The Merry Cemetery in Maramures County is a great opportunity for an individual to discover the Dacian culture. At the same time, it offers the individual insights on how the people back then viewed life and how they lived it.