103 images Created 5 Jan 2013
The Maramures well-preserved wooden villages and churches, a timber's civilisation, is an innermost secret located in the North of the Romania, near the Ukrainian frontier, with autonomous traditions since the Middle Age, the last living museum of Europe. The Maramures Orthodox churches are high timber constructions with tall bell towers, a expression of the cultural landscape of this mountainous area, but also a political reaction to the laws of the Hungarian landlords against the buiding of stone Orthodox churches. The churches, made of thick logs and dark inside, have often impressive measures and are painted with "naïve" Biblical scenes, mostly by local painters. Eight of these churches were listed as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 1999 for their timber architecture: Bârsana, Budesti, Desesti, Ieud, Plopis, Poienile Izei, Rogoz, Surdesti. The wooden churches from Maramures closely mirror a society of modest country landlords but, the wooden churches, a major source of knowledge is still saved by a number of practicing senior carpenters with relevant knowledge and experience to build ample log structures. The craftsmen from Maramures were not simple peasants but well specialised church carpenters who inherited this advanced knowledge to build churches. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989 there is a resurgence of new churches built in the traditional style.