Sighetu Marmatiei Things to Do

  • Cemetery of the Poor
    Cemetery of the Poor
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  • Sighet
    Sighet
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  • Sighet
    Sighet
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Most Recent Things to Do in Sighetu Marmatiei

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    ONCESTI WOODEN CHURCH - THE INTERIOR

    by balhannah Written Feb 15, 2014
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    Well, I thought the outside was great, but the interior - it was wow!

    There were paintings covering most of the walls and the ceiling of this Church! It is a church where you need to take your time and take in what your seeing!
    The scenes are familiar Orthodox architectural background decoration painting, done according to the canons of Byzantine.
    Some of the murals are the Annunciation and in the four lower compartments appear evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John seated on thrones with back rests. Behind John, is a landscape depicting the entrance to a cave.

    The inside is amazing and a MUST SEE!

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    ONCESTI WOODEN CHURCH - THE OUTSIDE

    by balhannah Written Feb 15, 2014
    Oncesti wooden church
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    The Onceºti wooden church was built in the 16th century in Criciova (village now in Ukraine) around the year 1620, and then moved to Maramures Village Museum in Sighet Marmatiei.

    Every paling on the wooden fence surrounding the wooden Church had carved crosses and rosettes, very nice!
    Now to the Church, which is the oldest building in the Museum. It has what I call a two tiered roof with a bell Tower that makes this a very appealing Church to look at. The roof over-laps the entrance door giving an under cover area for the congregation to stand. It's framed and beautifully decorated.
    Next, we go inside.

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    ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ASSUMPTION

    by balhannah Written Feb 15, 2014
    Orthodox Church of Assumption

    This attractive Church was built in 1892, in Neo-gothic style.
    It was originally Greek Catholic church, but after the ban on Greek Catholicism by the communists, the church became a Romanian Orthodox Church.
    Above the main entrance is a circular window, similar to Gothic rosettes and the Church has a Bell Tower.
    I didn't make it to the interior to see paintings and icons on the iconostasis made ​​by the great painter from Maramures

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    SUNDAY MARKET

    by balhannah Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    Sighet
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    We arrived in Sighet for lunch on a Sunday.

    In the town square there was a flower market happening, stalls selling lovely flowers, how I wished I could have bought some. I didn't know whether this was part of the Central Market which is held daily, or just a flower market. At the central market, stall holders sell vegetables, fruits, dairy produces and handcrafts.

    Each month, there is the livestock market day when peasants come in from the surrounding villages with their horse-carts and cows. If you want to see the Livestock Market, be at Tractorului street on the first Monday of each month - I read it's colourful and good!

    Sighet holds its Winter Carnival from December 24 to January 6, when the local folk dress up in costumes and masks.

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    CEMETERY OF THE POOR

    by balhannah Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    Cemetery of the Poor
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    We came across this cemetery as we made our way by car along Route 19 to Sighet. I went for a walk around it, luckily I could walk on paths as it was very overgrown.

    According to legend, many of those who died in the political prison were buried in secret at night.
    To identify the many thousands of graves dating from before and after the 1950s was impossible, so a landscaped memorial in the shape of Romania was made to remember them. Conifers were planted to make the border of Romania.

    In 2008, a stone altar and massive limestone memorial cross decorated in the Byzantine style were added, so future memorial services will be officiated there. When the consecratioin took place in 2008, people from all over Romania came, each with a handful of earth from the grave of a victim, from cemeteries where such monuments already existed.
    Whether the people were known or not didn't matter, the earth came from places where people were assassinated, or from the sites of mass graves. The soil they placed in the foundations of the altar.
    Behind the cross are urns with earth from prison cemeteries, execution sites, and the resting places of victims of political imprisonment, deportation and forced domicile. This monument is dedicated to the victims of all the communist prisons, camps and deportations.
    It is guarded by the cross dedicated to the great men who gave their lives in Sighet Prison, a cross for the Graeco-Catholic prelates, a cross for the peasant victims of collectivisation, and a monument to the heroes of Maramureº.

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    Get Artsy (and Crafty!) at the Maramures Museum

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 12, 2011

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    Masked Figurines at the Maramures Museum, Sighet
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    The Maramures Museum is located in the very middle of Piata Libertatii, in the center of Sighet. This museum is dedicated to the cultural and pastoral history of the region, and features a wide variety of handicrafts made in the areas surrounding Sighet. You can see masks and costumes used in local festivals, gorgeous textiles (and the looms used to make them), large-scale wood carvings and other local products. Like most European museums The Maramures Museum is closed on Mondays; Tuesday through Sunday the opening hours are 10:00 to 6:00. Admission does not exceed five lei and there may be a similar photo tax.

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    Visit Another Church

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 12, 2011

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    Roman Catholic Church, Sighet

    While the Roman Catholic Church may be the second-largest in Romania, the Roman Catholic Church building in Sighet is easily the town's largest and most imposing church. Built in the 1700s, this Baroque church looms over Piata Libertatii and features a unique sun clock inside its entrance. Explore its more opulent interior (with paintings, sculptures and stained-glass windows), and contrast it with the nearby Hungarian Reformed Church.

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    Visit the City's Oldest Building

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 12, 2011
    Hungarian Reformed Church, Sighet

    The Hungarian Reformed Church (also called the Calvinist Church) in Sighet is the city's oldest surviving original building. Today visitors can enter the building to see it's simple interior. As I mentioned in an earlier tip, control of Sighet has, throughout history, been passed back and forth between Romania and Hungary. The Hungarian Reformed Church's members are mainly of Hungarian descent, and even within Romania Hungarian is the church's main language. Make this church a stop on your tour of Sighet, followed by a visit to the much larger Roman Catholic Church.

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    Reflect at the Hungarian Monument

    by Jetgirly Updated Mar 12, 2011
    The Hungarian Monument in Sighet

    Located at the west end of Piata Libertatii, the Hungarian Monument is a stark black and white reminder of the city's history. From the 1300s to the 1700s the city was passed back-and-forth between Transylvanian and Hungarian hands. After World War I it became part of Romania, and then during World War II it became part of Hungary again. After the war the city was once again returned to Romania. I believe this monument commemorates the contributions of Hungarian city residents who were killed in the world wars.

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    See the Mythical White Eggplant

    by Jetgirly Updated Mar 8, 2011

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    White Eggplants at Sighet's Piata Agroalimentara
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    The market ("Piata Agroalimentara") in Sighet is a great place to explore. And I recommend you go while you can, because the whole place seems to be sinking! I visited after a prolonged period of heavy rains in the summer, and there were dangerous-looking sinkholes all over the place! The first thing to catch my eye was a large basket of white eggplant, which I had never seen before. There were lots of other locally-grown fruits and vegetables, in addition to meats, cheeses and baked goods (this is a great place to try placinta for the first time!). Signs at Cobwobs Hostel suggest there is also a great bean soup stall here- I didn't find it but I did end up having a great meal at La Ilisca. I always like to put tips about markets in Things to Do, rather than Shopping, because I think exploring a local market can be an experience in itself regardless of whether or not you make a purchase. This is especially true of Sighet's market, which is definitely worth a visit while you're in town.

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    EXCURSION: Walk to Ukraine!

    by Jetgirly Updated Mar 8, 2011

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    Ukraine Border Crossing Near Sighet
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    Sighet's city center is a mere two kilometres from the Ukrainian border, meaning intrepid travelers can WALK to another country! Coming from Canada, where you can be 2,000 kilometres (or more) from the nearest border crossing, walking to another country seems pretty cool!

    To get to the Ukrainian border, just head north on Str. Titilescu (far west end of Piati Libertatii). You'll arrive at a border crossing which exists almost entirely to funnel vodka and cigarettes into the EU... which means the wait is looooong. Have no fear, Occidentalism is here! Just smile, wave your Western passport around and shout, "Tourist!" Within minutes you'll be escorted to the front of the line. This works all "four" times- out of Romania, into Ukraine, out of Ukraine and back into Romania. I felt a smidgen guilty but was assured by MANY locals in the line that this is normal procedure and that I shouldn't feel bad. The day I crossed it was POURING rain and everyone seemed pretty surprised by and interested in a twenty-something girl braving the elements to walk to a vodka- and cigarette-running town! Popping over for the day is free, so you shouldn't need to pay anyone at the border.

    Once you're on the other side you'll be in a town called Solotvyno (Slatina in Romanian or Солотвино when written in Ukrainian- you might need to know that for your immigration card). Right away you'll see the large number of minimarkets, providing vodka and cigarettes to Romanians carrying it back to the UK. If you do choose to buy these things (and it might be worth it- I don't smoke but bottles of vodka go for less than two dollars) you may be asked to wait in the regular line when you return to Romania. I couldn't find much to do in Solotyvno... I ate some pierogies, looked in a church or two, climbed up a hill to a cemetery, bought a silly school book, looked at vodka and wandered around some apartment blocks. If the weather had been better I might have considered going further afield, as I believe there are therapeutic springs and/or salt mines nearby (as well as some crazy Ukrainian village nightlife!). Banks in Solotyvno won't change Romanian money, but a back-room currency exchange operates on the top floor of the two-story general store near Laura Minimarket (use the exterior stairs).

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    EXCURSION: Rural Architecture in Săpânţa

    by Jetgirly Updated Mar 8, 2011

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    Tiled Home in Săp��nţa
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    While you're visiting the Merry Cemetery and its carver's home in Săpânţa, make sure to take a wander up and down the village roads. This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with some of the area's unique architecture. Some of the stand-out features of local architecture include gorgeous wooden gates (see the third photo), decorative exterior hangings (second photo) and spectacular tile work. You're apt to pass horse-drawn carriages and stray livestock while you wander, and all of the local residents will greet you with a smile.

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    EXCURSION: Carver's Home - Săpânţa

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 8, 2011

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    Dumitru Pop's House, Săp��nţa
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    Only a few blocks from the Merry Cemetery in Săpânţa (oh, and that's pronounced "sa-POONT-suh") you will find the residence of the cemetery's current carver- Dumitru Pop. The exterior of the house is beautifully decorated and features a traditional wooden gate along with lots of carvings by both Pop and the cemetery's creator, Stan Ioan Patras. Admission is three lei and I wasn't able to determine hours of operation- nobody (but 'em chickens) seemed to be around when I visited.

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    EXCURSION: Merry Cemetery, Săpânţa

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 7, 2011

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    Hit by a Car @ The Merry Cemetery, Săp��nţ
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    Twelve kilometres down the road from Sighet lies the little village of Săpânţa, famed internationally for its Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel). This cemetery is a must-see stop on your tour of Romania.

    All the way back in the 1930s, Stan Ioan Patras began carving and painting tombstones that celebrated the lives of those who passed in a humourous manner. The epitaphs are written as short poems, and often describe the way the person died in addition to the highlights of their lives. The cemetery is a resting place for many commoners from the local community, so you're just as likely to read about the achievements of a housewife as a general. Wandering in between the grave markers is heartwarming and truly celebrates the universal human experience.

    There is a small admission fee (about five lei) to enter the cemetery, and no information is available in English. The ground seems to be sinking a bit, so wear shoes that you can get wet. To reach the cemetery you can drive, take a morning bus (which leaves obscenely early and doesn't get you back to Sighet) or do what I did- ride-share from Sighet (about two blocks west of Cobwobs Hostel on Str. Avram Iancu there is a corner where passengers can connect with drivers. It's also easy to hitch back.

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    Visit Elie Wiesel's Birthplace

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 6, 2011
    Elie Wiesel's House in Sighetu Marmatiei
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    Elie Wiesel is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning writer, activist and Holocaust survivor. He was born in Sighet, and today his childhood home is a museum that exhibits memorabilia from Wiesel's distinguished life. When I visited I was the only guest, and a young employee was happy to provide information in English. The museum is closed Mondays and has a small admission charge.

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