A territory in Romania with strong and particular identity is Maramures. Geographically situated in the heart of Europe, this land has been wanted and disputed in its history by many.
In the whirlpool of times, Maramures has built a rich and powerful identity. It is the land of ancient customs, where people found a unique way to worship God by raising high churches that would touch the sky. The wooden churches of Maramures are exactly this form of religion, simple, humble, made of wood but strong and high, with towers reaching to the clouds.
One of these churches you can find in Surdesti. The Greece-catholic church of The Archangels was until recently the highest wooden church in Europe, with a tower of 54 meters and a total height of 72 meters. Built in the years 1721-1724 from oak, it is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The church is splendid and beautifully painted.
Inside the church it is peace. The paintings are simple and in light colors. There are scenes of the Apocalypse intending to scare the believers that attended the ceremonies. This is a custom in Romania, to paint the insides of churches. When reading was not for everyone, simple people, peasants could “read” the word of God from the walls.
The stairway to heaven, that we find in many monasteries and churches, we find it here too. you can see people climbing the steps but not all will reach the Heavens, where, in a cloud, God and Jesus watch over all. The images are simple but authentic and will tell you many things about the Romanian people.
See some of these pictures below. Hope they will inspire you to visit this lands.