The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta
The Merry Cemetery, part of the Unesco Patrimony, is located in Sapanta, Maramures and is unique in the world. The Merry Cemetery presents another face of death, as it was seen by the Dacians: passing to another world, the path to an eternal life.
The Merry Cemetery is recognized all over the world thanks to the tombstones painted with a specific Sapanta blue and epitaphs written on these tombstones, which take on a merry note, trying to make people look at death more easily.
Although amusing, the epitaphs have behind them stories of death in war, political oppression, injustice or death without cure. Many epitaphs are written on both the front and the back of the tombstone. The images on the tombstone represent an important scene in the life of the deceased, showing either the man's job or the way he died.
The founder of the Sapanta Merry Cemetery was Stan Ioan Patras, and the one in charge currently of the Memorial House and who carried on with the tradition is the wood sculpturer Dumitru Pop Tincu.
Dumitru Pop Tincu makes the oak wood crosses, paints them with the famous "Sapanta blue" and the scenes rendered on the cross are painted using vibrant colors such as: yellow, red, white and green. He is also the one who writes the epitaphs, because he knows the story of every man in the village. He chooses good deeds and bad deeds, because life encompasses both of them, and never accepts people telling him what and how to write, not to be biased in any way.
Therefore, if you go to Maramures, you should never miss a visit to the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta. It is a tourist destination that has made its presence felt all over the world.