Maramures and its amazing places – I
I just came a while ago from Maramures, the most Nordic point on Romanian map and this is an experience should be shared, but mostly to be lived. I went to find some accommodation to suite my taste: traditional, but still having good facilities. What started to be work, it was joy and fun from one end to the other.
As you reach Baia Mare, the “capital” of Maramures, even as Romanian I felt in another world. People are calmer and they seem not to be in a permanent rush as people from southern side of Romania. The small historical centre of Baia Mare is clean and coquette, the main historical buildings watch over the pedestrian area. This central place is a return in the past; even people are well connected to modern times. The Tower of St Stefan is around 50 m tall and seems to watch over the city. Part of the St. Stephan cathedral, the building was started in 14 th century by John of Hunedoara as a sign of victory against Turks, the tower was finished only in mid 15th Century during Mateius Corvinus. It is made from rough blocks of river stones and in 17 century, while rebuilding the tower, a clock was added. Weather, lightning and time left us only this tower from entire cathedral.
On the opposite- south corner of Old city, imposing in its baroque style, stays the Romano- Catholic Cathedral (former Jesuit). Built in the first quarter of 18 century by Jesuit priests, the beautiful Cathedral remains a point of attraction. The butcher bastion is the only fortification tower remains from seven bastions built around medieval city built during between 14-16th centuries.
Historical buildings are spread around the old center, colorful and with personality, contrasting with Industrial tower ( the tallest building in Romania 351.5 m) situated in the opposite side of the city, of course in industrial area.
As you leave the city to the historical Maramures, the scenery changes and bits and pieces of the history seems to be alive. Modern times brought their contribution, but there is an impressive touch of beautiful to pass through archaic rural reminiscence. Hay stacks are spread here and there, locals, wearing traditional hats bring the hay from hills on carts pulled by car, cow herd’s crop on the grassland around villages.
The Monastery of Surdesti (part of UNESCO Heritage since 1999) is a local presence by its wooden tower, 54 m tall. Besides its tower, one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world, the innocent rural look, the simplicity of this beautiful church it makes it more beautiful. There is no gold, arcades or excessive stylization. A local skilled constructor in wood, Ion Macarie, built in 1766 this church for his community. The traditional entrance, a small stoop, shows also the constructor mastery of working the wood. It incredible high, I should admit. But also impressive about this church is its simplicity and still elaborated aspect. The village around it contributes to serenity that this place brings it to the passer by. I just felt that every church should look like this: impressive and still simple.
If you want to experience Maramures you can try a day trip