Sighetu Marmatiei is a typical Maramuresan city, first mentioned in 1346 as “zeged” which means fortress. It’s an important cultural centre famous for its fairs, folk costumes and due to the atmosphere full of life. In the last week of the year the city hosts a vast of folk manifestations dedicated to the customs and traditions of winter, with folk costumes and masks, and beautiful traditions preserved throughout this region.
Sighetu Marmatiei is most renowned for The Memorial of the Communism Victims made up of a museum situated in the former political prison of Sighet and The International Centre for Studies about Communism. The prison was built in 1897 and could detain 120 prisoners. It was used as a prison until 1977. The Memorial aims to rebuild the memory of certain nations, particularly the Romanians, who for half of a century have been misled with a false history.
16 km from Sighet is the village of Sapanta renowned for its famous and original cemetery, “The Merry Cemetery”, where the gravestones are carved out of wood and describe of the dead man’s life. The epitaphs on the gravestones have a comic tone.
Sapanta is also famous for its wood church being one of the highest wood constructions in Europe with its 54 m tall spire.