The Merry Cemetery
Many cultures see death as a sad and solemn event. Dacians, the Romanians’ ancestors believed in eternal life and saw death as a celebration and passage to the spiritual world. The Merry Cemetery takes that view and it celebrates life in the way it has been lived.
The cemetery is located in Săpânța, Maramureș county, and its note of originality makes it unique in the world.
Everything started in 1935 when Stan Ioan Pătraș carved wooden crosses. His tradition of engraving and painting crosses is carried by his disciples.
The cemetery has over 800 hand-made painted crosses. Painted in a deep shade of blue, as a symbol of hope and freedom, each cross has a unique painting and inscription.
The lines full of humor and irony written on the crosses summarise the life of the deceased with both his achievements and his bad habits, using art and poetry.
In this way, the cemetery has become an air museum and a joyful place.
The Maramureș region is known for its UNESCO-listed wood churches. The church with this cemetery cannot be found on the list. Yet, it deserves to be visited because of its unique cemetery.
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