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About Merry Cemetery

The Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel) is a cemetery in the village of Sapanta, Maramures county. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with naive paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The Merry Cemetery became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.

The unusual feature of this cemetery is that it diverges from the prevalent belief, culturally shared within European societies – a belief that views death as something indelibly solemn. Connections with the local Dacian culture have been made, a culture whose philosophical tenets presumably vouched for the immortality of the soul and the belief that death was a moment filled with joy and anticipation for a better life.

The cemetery's origins are linked with the name of Stan Ioan Patras, a local artist who sculpted the first tombstone crosses. In 1935, Patras carved the first epitaph and, as of 1960s, more than 800 of such oak wood crosses came into sight.

Contact and information:

Address: Sapanta, Maramures, Romania

Opening hours:

Tickets: 5 lei

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