Maramures is likely to be the most original region of Romania. Here the clocks allegedly measure not the time, but eternity. Rightly, Maramureș is also regarded as a living museum of the good old days. Holidays on a farm are really still holidays as they were two or three generations ago.
In particular, the carpenters and the masters of wood carving have eternalized themselves in the region, through the richly carved Maramureș yard gates and typical wooden churches with their pointed towers. Because of the unique beauty and harmony of proportions, eight of 98 wooden churches were taken under the protection of UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Those are the wooden churches of Bârsana, Budești, Desești, Ieud, Plopiș, Poienile Izei, Rogoz and Surdești.
A special kind of attraction is the “Merry Cemetery” in Săpânța. On the blue-painted crosses, a smart-ironic obituary is carved next to the fully coloured painted half portrait of the deceased.
An itinerary through the remote villages of the Romanian North is just right for those visitors who love the original and do not necessarily want to have all the comfort. Here, the region on the border with Ukraine in the river valleys of Ita and Vişeu, as well as the one around the resort Borşa, also invite hikers and winter sports enthusiasts.
The attractions of the region are mainly in the picturesque villages with their sky high wooden churches and the yet almost untouched nature in the national park of the Rodna Mountain. A few traces of the Habsburg heritage can still be found here and there in the few cities.
A personality of this area is Elie Wiesel (born September 30, 1928 in Sighetu Marmației, Romania), an American university professor and journalist. As a survivor of the Holocaust, he wrote numerous novels and other publications on this topic and received in 1986 the Nobel Peace Prize for his exemplary role in the fight against violence, oppression and racism.