The Merry Cemetery is located in Săpânța village, in the untamed and beautiful Maramureș region, in the northern part of Romania.
Every day from 10:00 to 18:00
* opening hours may vary, they are just for guidance
Adults – 4 Lei
Kids – 2 Lei
Video fee – 10 Lei
* visiting taxes may vary, they are just for guidance
Definitely the most famous tourist attraction of Maramureș County, Romania the merry cemetery of Săpânța holds the first place amongst Europe’s funeral monuments and cemeteries and the second place in the world.
The cemetery dates back from 1930 and is the craftsmanship and genuine creation of folk artist Stan Ion Pătraș, who was a local sculptor, painter and folk poet.
His wood work skills, backed by amazing creativity and inspiration have turned a village cemetery into an original museum of art that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Săpânța every year.
Due to his faith in God and love of life, Pătraș’s artwork is a statement that death is a part of life as well, that we need to fear not of, but embrace it with a merry attitude.
What makes this cemetery different from other cemeteries around the world? The lively painted wood crosses with flowers and beautiful decorations on them that speak joy of life and happiness, the beautifully wood craftsmanship, but mostly the funny texts that you can read on these lovely artsy crosses.
For instance, one of the most popular text written on a cross in Săpânța cemetery is this one “Under this heavy cross lies my poor mother in law; three more days she would have lived, I would lay here and she would read”.
The cross wordings speak of the hardships of life in the wild Maramureș region, where people worked very hard and at times gave their very lives in the search for a better life, but everything is put in funny words making you think that this is but a joke and it’s not a real cemetery.
It is here you understand that the aim of the funny mortuary texts is to lighten up the souls of the yet living that had to face the loss of dear family members and friend. And this is even more unexpected and brilliant coming from poor village people who know nothing but the simple ways of living, yet have a true wisdom that has helped them get by and move on with their daily lives no matter the burdens they had to carry deep inside their souls.
The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța is not just lively colored wood artwork, but most importantly a life lesson to its visitors, that the way we look at death is rather rigid and fear-based and that we need to lighten up on the matter and respect and embrace death, just as we embrace and cherish life.
Words cannot express the spectacle you’ll see there, so we warmly invite you to visit the Merry Cemetery of Săpânța if you want to have a real taste of Romanian genious, creativity and humor.