Visit Maramures

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


Desesti, a small village on the Mara Valley, in Maramures has a fine example of the traditional Maramures wooden church. It is named "Pious Paraschiva" and was built in 1770.
Legend maintains that in 1717, the wooden church of Desesti was set ablaze during a Tatar invasion. The legend continues to say that the location of the current church was chosen by the new altar stone. The consecrated stone was erected in several different places and, each time, it fell over. After five attempts, the stone remained upright, and through its own discovery of stability and peace, determined the site for the church.
According to the inscription on a beam of the pronaos roof, the interior frescoes date from 1780 and were made by the master painter Radu Munteanu from the village Ungureni in the Land of Lapus and of his helper Gheorghe from Desesti.
The cemetery surrounding the church is populated by many Celtic crosses, inscribed in a circle or semicircle and bordered with saw teeth.