Visit Maramures

The land of wooden churches, mythological richness, impressive landscapes and very ancient customs

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Religious & Cultural Heritage

Religious and cultural roots run deep in Maramures County. Due to its location close to the geographic centre of Europe this region has traditionally been inhabited by a variety of peoples including Romanians, Ukrainians, and Hungarians. These populations have remained true to their individual cultures throughout the centuries which are reflected in costumes, architecture, and cuisine. One of the most important aspects of the cultural heritage in Maramures stems from the strong influence of religion. The most dominant religion in the area is that of Romanian Orthodoxy though Roman and Greek Catholic communities can also be found. Religious monuments of the Romanian Orthodox Church in  Maramures are spectacular with most notable being the many wooden churches scattered throughout the countryside. The churches are built in gothic style and characterized by soaring wooden steeples which truly are amazing to behold. For more information about visiting the many wooden churches in the area, including the 8 churches inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list, please click here.

Jewish heritage is also strong in Maramures County, especially in the northern town of Sighetu Marmaţiei. Prior to the Second World War, the town’s population was 40% Jewish and served by many synagogues whereas today there is only one. Sighet, as is called locally, was also the birthplace of 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, whose autobiography recounting his time spent in a Nazi concentration camp coined the term ‘Holocaust.’