web analytics
  • Strada Gheorghe Şincai nr. 46, la parterul Palatului Administrativ, camera 20, Baia Mare.
  • tel. +40 262.206.113 | fax +40 262.206.114
  • office@visitmaramures.ro

Nearby tourist attractions

The wooden church of Deal and the Pleșa Ethnographic Museum in Ieud

Ieud Deal (Hill) Church is a UNESCO monument said to be the oldest church in Maramureș, dating from 1364. The church interior is covered in a post-byzantine painting, created in the 18th century by one of Maramureș’ most active and well-known artists of the time, Alexandru Ponehalschi; the paintings illustrate the Judgement Day and scenes from the Old Testament. The Codex of Ieud, written in Cyrillic and thought to be the oldest Romanian text, dating from 1391, was found in the attic of this church.

The church is dedicated to the celebration of the birth of Mary, Mother of God, held annually on September 8th. This is a perfect occasion for visitors to attend the service and to see the villagers dressed in their traditional costumes.

Tip: Try to find and interpret the Romanian inscriptions situated under some of the church’s windows.

Contact person for church visits – the „key holder”: Vasile Pleș in Ieud.

At the foot of the hill where the church lies, there’s also the Pleș Ethnographic Museum – a former Maramureș household transformed into a small museum with passion and respect for history by the Ples family members. The houses in this complex are very well preserved in their original condition and they shelter traditional costumes, wooden objects and tools and old wooden furniture.

909 Ieud

Visiting hours: Monday – Friday, 8.00 – 20.00. Phone: +4 0262.336.104.

Bârsana UNESCO church

Bârsana wooden church is a UNESCO monument and was built in 1720 on a different site, then moved by villagers in 1806 on Jbâr hill – the current location; there seemed to have been several reasons for the relocation – some speak of a legend of the plague victims’ cemetery, others speak about the villagers’ wish to protect it in the midst of the spread of the catholic religion. The moralising wall painting was made by Toader Hodor, an artist from Maramureș who introduced baroque and rococo elements in the local art language.

The church is dedicated to the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, held annually on the 21st of November.

Tip: Try to identify the paintings of angels with bodies covered in eyes.

Contact person for church visits – the „key holder”: Priest Urda Gheorghe in Bârsana.

Săpânța Merry Cemetery (Săpânța)

Perhaps visiting a cemetery is not necessarily something one would want to do on a holiday, but Săpânța is such a different kind of cemetery, that it became a tourist attraction which is, as far as we know, unique in the world.

The cemetery has almost 1.000 colourful crosses with an iconic blue background, and it is basically a collection of naive paintings and ironic poems that bring to life representative fragments of the lives and occupations of Săpânța villagers. The epitaphs are written in the first person, in local speak. The creative endeavour of craftsman Stan Ioan Pătraș, spanning over half a century, which gave birth to this merry cemetery was taken over after his passing in 1977 by the master in wood carving Dumitru Pop Tincu.

It is a place that does not inspire sadness and sorrow, but rather courage and an urge to look at death as something natural, a transition towards another world.

Nearby, on a side alley, you can also find the memorial house of Stan Ioan Pătraș. The small museum exhibits miniature painted crosses, massive sculptures and bas-reliefs, a vast collection of sacred icons painted on glass, traditional Săpânța costumes, beautifully decorated dishes, traditional bedspreads and a collection of photographs belonging to the craftsman and the people close to him. In front of the house there is a stone bust portraying the artist.

Tip: Ask somebody to translate some of the epitaphs and look for those which are not necessarily “popular”, to better understand the history of the village, people’s characters and the activities that shaped life in Maramureș.

Visiting hours: daily, 10.00 – 18.00. Entrance fee: adults 4 lei, children 2 lei.

Mocănița steam train (Vișeu de Sus)

Mocănița, the steam train, runs on the last active forest railroad in the Carpathians, still used for transportation of wood from the forests on Vaser Valley to the processing facilities in Vișeu de Sus.

From May to October, Mocănița takes tourists from the train station in Vișeu de Sus on an idyllic journey through hills, mountains and meadows in Maramureș Mountains Natural Park up to Paltinu station. The route is 21 km long and takes about 2 hours, with two coffee and steam-engine fuelling breaks; the Paltinu stop lasts approx. one hour and a half, depending on the weather – visitors one can have lunch there, in the open air or in the wooden pavilions, and take hikes in the surroundings. Occasionally, special events are hosted here, such as classical music concerts, brunches and religious celebrations or full moon trips.

Hours: From 1 May – 29 June and 18 September – 2 November: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays departure at 9.00 from Vișeu de Sus and return at 14.30. From 3 July – 14 September (peak season), daily departure at 9.00, return at 15.30. For special events, please see the schedule online on www.cffviseu.ro. You can ask for information at info@cffviseu.com, tel. +40 262 353 381 (between 8 – 19), mobile +40 744 686 716 (between 8 – 19).

Tickets can be purchased in the train station starting with 7.00 in the morning and cost 46 lei / 49 lei (peak season) for adults, 38 lei / 41 lei (peak season) for students, retired and disabled people, 33 lei / 35 lei for children (children younger than 6 travelling with parents benefit from free entrance).

5 Cerbului Str., Vișeu de Sus

The Memorial of the Victims of Communism (Sighetu Maramației)

The greatest victory of communism – a victory surfacing dramatically only after 1989 – was the creation of the man with no memories, the new brainwashed man, who does not need to remember what he was, what he had, nor what he did before communism. Building The Memorial of the Victims of Communism is a form of counteraction to this victory, a means of resurrecting the collective memory. (www.memorialsighet.ro)

The memorial was created in the building raised in 1897 by Austro-Hungarian authorities, that worked as a political prison during the communist regime, between 1948 and 1955. Then, it was known as a work unit, the „Danube colony”, but it was hiding a repression and extermination centre for political and academic elites, writers, economists, journalists and catholic priests.

Each cell of the former prison recreates, by use of original documents, audio and video installations, photography and various exhibits, a field of life in communism – agriculture, education, politics, daily life, life in prisons and work centres, investigation and torture methods, the media etc. On the ground floor, one can see the succession of events and the demonic strategy that enabled the victory of the communist party by fraud and lies at the 1946 elections. “Special” cells have also been preserved, where great political personalities of the opposition parties were retained and passed away – people like Iuliu Maniu (prime-minister, president of the National Peasants Party and academic) or Gheorghe Brătianu (member of the National Liberal Party, academic and university professor).

It is said that the Memorial is the best museum in this part of Europe that is dedicated to illustrating the communist regime. Visiting this memory sanctuary is a revealing and transformational experience that dispels from the very first steps in the maps room (the visitors’ reception room) the impression that communism is just another page in history.

Visiting hours: Monday-Sunday 9.30-18.30 (15 April –15 October); Tuesday-Sunday 9.30-16.30 (16 October-14 April), closed on Mondays. Tickets: adults 6 lei; students and elderly 3 lei; former political prisoners, journalists and disabled people benefit from free entrance.

4 Corneliu Coposu Str., Sighetu Marmației. Tel/Fax: +4 0262.319.424, +4 0262.316.848.

Maramureș Village Museum (Sighetu Marmației)

The Village Museum was opened in 1981 and it belongs to the Ethnography division of the Maramureș Museum. The museum recreates the structure and traditional layout of a Maramureș village: entire households with monument-houses dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, together with the typical extensions (granaries, barns, animal sheds etc.), all very well preserved, displayed along alleys that go to the 16th century wooden church, brought from Oncești village and rebuilt on a small hill. The minorities of historical Maramureș are also represented here, by Jewish, Ukrainian, Hungarian and German houses. Within the same enclosure, you can also find an old wooden mill, powered by water.

1 Muzeului Str. Open daily, Tel. +4 0262.314.229


The Horses Waterfall

The Horses’ Waterfall, the highest one in Romania, lies in Rodnei Mountains, close to Borșa. It forms at an altitude of 1.300 meters and the actual waterfall is 90 meters high. The name of the waterfall comes from a local legend which says that once upon a time some horses that grazed on the meadows of Piatra Rea Mountain during summer were surrounded by bears on the plateau above the waterfall and they fell in the chasm while trying to escape.

You can reach the waterfall following the marked trail from Borșa Tourist Complex, a hike that takes about 2 hours, or by using the lift from the same starting point; from the arrival point, you need to walk on the trail to the waterfall for about 15 minutes. The last lift is at 17.00.

Ski resorts

In Cavnic, 20 km away from Ocna Șugatag, there are two ski complexes: Roata/Superski, with 5 low, medium and high difficulty slopes and a total length of 6 km (www.superskicavnic.ro), and Icoana Cavnic, with 5 low and medium difficulty slopes and a total length of 8.5 km (www.icoanacavnic.ro). Both ski complexes have rental services and ski and snowboard lessons.

Other ski complexes close to Mara-Cosău-Creasta Cocoșului are in Borşa, Izvoare, Mogoșa, Şuior and Baia Borşa.

by flavius frantz | eeessential.tools