wooden churches of Maramureș

There is an ancient land where customs and traditions are sacredly kept. This land is called Maramureș (pronounced Ma-ra-moo-resh) and it is one of Romania’s most happy places. High pitch folk music, colorful traditional costumes, and the Merry Cemetery are what makes Maramureș the most joyful destination in the country. In addition, of all the extraordinary landmarks that exist only here, the wooden churches of Maramureș are the most fascinating constructions. They are must-see masterpieces of vernacular architecture in a magical part of Romania. We invite you to discover each of these beautiful churches in Budești, in Poienile Izei or in Ieud. Whatever your choice may be, a tour of all the eight wooden churches that are part of UNESCO’s world heritage list is a cheering idea for an Easter vacation.

The Tallest of All the Wooden Churches of Maramureș

In the mountain areas of Maramureș wood has always been part of the civilization. Once you arrive in any of the rural parts of the county, you will notice the presence of wood almost everywhere. From artisanal spoons and bowls to grave crosses and household gates, wood is ever present and used.

Starting with the 15th century, artisans from the region had built the wooden churches of Maramureș. They erected the ones that still stand between the 17th and the 19th centuries. That is when the Austro-Hungarian Empire prohibited the construction of stone Orthodox churches in Transylvania. So, the maramureșeni (people of Maramureș) responded with great talent and grasp, in a quest to assemble the wooden churches.

the wooden churches of Maramureș -  the Săpânța Peri Church
Săpânța Peri Church – the tallest wooden church in Europe

Fact is, the tallest wooden church in Romania is the gest of artisans from our times. They rebuilt the Săpânța Peri monastery between 1997 and 2003. It has an unconventional stone base, therefore it can hold a 75m high timber structure. This wooden church might even be the 15th tallest wooden building in the world. Back in 1404, the initial construction is said to have had a golden roof and to have worshiped Saint Michael the Archangel.

Other Destinations in Maramureș Romania

Not surprisingly, Maramureș is also the land of Romanian craftsmanship. Wood carving, pottery, wool, and textile creation are just a few of the customary crafts specific to this rarely visited corner of the world. For instance, if you drop by the small town of Baia Sprie, you can ask about the famous local ceramist and his guesthouse. This way, you and your kids can participate in pottery and ceramics workshops at this adorable lodging house. Anytime is the best time to visit Maramureș, yet summer appears to be the best season for these destinations.

wooden churches of Maramureș
Newly constructed wooden gate

Another awesome destination and a true hidden gem is the Babou rural campsite and hostel in Maramureș. Additionally, young families and travelers in search of quiet nature retreats seem to have enjoyed this place the most. You might want to give it a try on your tour of the wooden churches in Maramureș.

the wooden churches of Maramureș - Easter preparations in Maramureș
Eastern preparations in Maramureș | Photo by Gabriel Motica

Wait to read more about Easter Holidays in Maramureș on The Adventures of Kira Yew. This off the beaten track destination is the best place to spend a quiet vacation just like with the painted monasteries of Bucovina, which are a six-hour drive from Maramureș.

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