Located in the Northern part of Romania, at the border that separates Romania from Ukraine, we have an area composed of four zones with distinct historical evolution, and each is named “country”: country of Maramures, Chioaru, Lapus, and Baia Pond. Maramures is the area with very old traditions, the country of cosumes, the area where old art is preserved like nowhere else in Romania. It resembles an huge museum in the open air. In this space, particularly in the Country of Maramures, people still use domestic objects, tools which one sees in other countries only in museums.
This is why, the primary element of tourism in Maramures is, undoubtedly, the village life. The tourists who attend popular holidays, such as “Tanjaua de Hoteni”, “Hora (the Round) of Prislop”, “Sambra Oilor” will be touched by the spirit, the light of the habits, art and the country costume.
The wooden churches are authentic masterpieces of popular art. They can be found in almost all the villages, being even reference marks on a worldwide scale: the highest construction was until little time ago the church of the monastery of nuns of Barsana – 62 m, exceeded by the church of the monastery of Sapanta – 72 Mr. The wooden churches from the 17th and 18th centuries are made of oak, and this is the reason why they resisted the passing of time. During the centuries, people built watch towers within the bell-towers of the churches in order see the possible attacks of the enemies, the floods and the fires.
The very high roofs and the arrowed bell-towers determined the specialists to speak about the “Gothic style in Maramures”.
The oldest church of wood is in Ieud – 1364, with later restorations. The wooden carved gates do not need any more presentation. They have been symbol of Maramures for a long time now.
They can be admired in the valleys of Iza, Mara and Cosau. One must not miss the traditional country costume, that many inhabitants still carry every day and not only to the festivals, as in other zones.
Among the jewels of Maramures “The Merry Cemetery” occupies the very important place (it is unique in the world). It is in the village of Sapanta, famous for the typical objects of craft industry: wool blankets, towels, small purses and others.
The seaside resort and climatic of Ocna Sugatag, with the salted baths, hot or cold, show to the tourists the lake formed by the collapse of the saltworks. For the amateurs of tourism in the mountains, the Rodna Mountains offer splendid landscapes, rich in flora and fauna, in particular the Natural reserve of Pietrosul Rodnei, protected since 1932. Valea Vaserului, the valley which opens starting from the town of Viseu de Sus is a single site. Sighetu Marmatiei is an important tourist and cultural center.
To notice the Museum of Ethnography and Popular Art which has a section in the open air: the Museum of the Village. In Sighet takes place each year, on December 27, the famous “Festival of the habits and popular traditions of winter”.