The Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa

The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța, a priceless monument of popular art and local traditions, is known for the vividly colored crosses, with paintings depicting scenes from the lives of the dead, and funny lyrics that remind of their life.

The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța can be visited daily, between 10:00-18:00, and the entry tax is 5 lei/ person.

An extra tax of 5 lei is charged for photographs, and an extra 10 lei for filming.

The entry tax for the Memorial House of ”Stan Ioan Pătraș” is 3 lei/person.


The merry cemetery is in northern Romania, close to the Ucraine border. Located in the center of Maramureș County, in the village of Săpânța, it is 20 km away from the city of Sighetu Marmației.


  • Access by road is performed through DN 19, on the route Sighetu Marmației - Sărăsău - Câmpulung - Sapânța.


Tourist objectives

Besides the Merry cemetery, which is a destination on its own, the tourists that get here can also visit the Memorial House of the artist ”Stan Ioan Pătraş” and the monastery of Sapânța-Peri.

The Memorial House "Stan Ioan Pătraş", also known as the Artists’ House, is the house where the artist that made the crosses from the cementery, Stan Ioan Patras was born and lived. Located at about 200-250 meters away from the cemetery, the house hosts the sculpture and painting workshop of the artist, and crosses made by him. The museum exhibits a number of sculptures in bas-relief, glass paintings, photographs of the artists’ life, but also newspaper articles. All of the exhibits displayed here make the Memorial House of Stan Ioan Pătraș a touristic site that cannot be missed by tourists visiting the Maramures County.
Sapânța-Peri Monastery is one of the most representative churches in Maramures, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage. The monastery is distinguished trough its impressive height of the tower - 78 meters, which makes the monastery visible from over 5 km away, giving rise to the curiosity and interest of tourists in the area. Being the tallest wooden church in the world, it has been listed in the Guiness World Records.


The merry cemetery dates from the middle of 1930 and is the creation of the local crafter Stan Ioan Pătraș, who was simultaneously a sculptor, painter and poet. Hes creativity transformed the place – a generally sad one – in a happy one, giving wood the colors of life and graving the crosses with lyrics inspired from reality and enriched with humor. This way, the cemetery became a wooden archive of the stories of the locals. The work of the artist Stan Ioan Pătraş was carried on by its apprentice Dumitru Pop Tincu.

The semantic of the name is quite far from the actual meaning of a cemetery, which makes Merry Cemetery a complex phenomenon. Even if as burials take place people go through all the normal feelings for the occasion, what distinguishes the cemetery of Săpânța from a space of grief and resignation is the desire to recreate the whole village and to give people a second life after death, through the paintings and poems of Stan Ioan Pătraş.
Considering that the specificity of the cemetery makes it unique in the world, it has been included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Also, the Merry Cemetery was rated first in the Symposium of Funerary Monuments, which took place in the USA in 1998, first in Europe and second in the world, after the Valley of the Kings from Egypt, becoming an important touristic attraction.

The Merry Cemetery hosts over 800 crosses, expressions of local art, made from oak wood, manually painted and hand written, turning the place into an open-air museum. Each cross is made of two areas: the upper side is a bas-relief representing a scene relevant for the life of the deceased, while the lower part is a short poem, with simple rhyme, sincere and spontaneous lyrics, written in a lyrical style that does not exclude satire. The cross is usually painted on a blue background also known as "Săpânța blue", and the scenes are vividly colored: red, yellow, green.

Cultural Events

In the middle of August, the Intercultural Festival of Maramures Traditions "The long walk to the Merry Cemetery" is organized in Săpânța, and includes folk and classical music concerts, local products tasting, handicraft workshops and visits to handcrafters from Maramures County.

Tourist reception structures

Housing structures
Name of structureType of structureCategoryNumber of roomsNumber of placesTownAdressPhone no
ADI SĂPÂNȚA guesthouse 2 flowers 5 10 Săpânţa nr. 174 -
ADRIANA guesthouse 3 stars 7 14 Săpânţa Str. Principală, nr. 205 0262.372.314
ANUȚA guesthouse 3 flowers 4 8 Săpânţa nr. 778 -
CASA ANA guesthouse 3 flowers 4 8 Săpânţa nr. 638 -
CASA TEO rooms for rent 3 stars 5 10 Săpânţa nr. 17 0745.976.887
DALIA rural guesthouse 2 flowers 3 6 Săpânţa  nr. 375 0262.372.485, 0743.416.415
ILEANA agro guesthouse 3 flowers 3 6 Săpânţa nr. 656 0749.163.962
IOANA agro guesthouse 3 flowers 2 4 Săpânţa Str. Principală, nr. 166 0262.372.062
MIUȚA guesthouse 2 flowers 4 10 Săpânţa nr. 65 -
MONTANA guesthouse 3 flowers 5 10 Săpânţa nr. 910 -
PERLA SĂPÂNȚEANĂ villa 3 stars 6 12 Săpânţa nr. 921 0745.571.231
POIENI camping 1 star 15 60 Săpânţa nr. 638 -
POIENI camping houses 1 star 4 8 Săpânţa nr. 638 -
STAN guesthouse 2 stars 3 6 Săpânţa Str. Prinipală, nr. 779 0262.372.336
Food structures
Name of structureType of structureCategoryNumber of placesTownAdressPhone no
CASA ANA pension restaurant 3 stars 90 Săpânţa Săpânţa, nr. 638 -
PERLA SĂPÂNȚEANĂ family restaurant (pension) 2 stars 68 Săpânţa  Săpânţa, nr. 921, Vila 0745.571.231

Touristic trails

Today there are no organized or marked touristic trails in the area of the Merry Cemetery of Săpânța, but the tourists can enjoy walks in the fields and forests in the area, with the hosts from guesthouse where they are housed.


Vişeu de Sus

Visit the page of the Vișeu de Sus town hall for additional information on the local administration and for news and events throughout the year.



A page for the people of Vișeu, for those who have left Vișeu, for those who have returned to, those who have arrived and who will arrive in Vișeu.