duminică, 5 iulie 2009

UNESCO's World Heritage List: The Maramures wooden churches

UNESCO's World Heritage List: The Maramures wooden churches

In Maramures are found eight wooden churches inscribed in 1999 on World Heritage List. They deserve a visit, even some of them are not easy to find, due to the lack of street signs. Be prepared to search a while for the key (ask for the priest -"Popa" in Romanian or the key- "Keye") and don't forget: you can't take pictures inside of Maramures UNESCO's wooden churches.
-Barsana "Jbar" Church. Not to be confused with Barsana Monastery, situated at the other end of the village!It was erected after 1711 (the moment when the timbers were felled). Beautiful paintings dated in 1806. Under restoration since 1997, so, it can not be visited at this moment. The wooden and glass icons and some panels are displayed at Barsana's Monastery Museum. See the cherubs covered by eyes.
-Budesti "Josani" Church. The log structure was firmly dated from the winter 1642-43. Under restoration since 2008. Paintings by Alexandru Ponehalschi, from 1760-1762. Other attractions: some wooden icons painted in XV century, the Pintea the Brave outlaw chain mail (XVIII century) and the flag of Francisc II Rákóczi, a Hungarian ruler (XVIII century). In the courtyard, a megalith used in 1586 for some pagan rituals!
-Desesti wooden church.. Erected in 1780, painted by Radu Munteanu in the same year. Fully restaurated and visitable.
-Ieud "Deal" Church. Built between 1611-1621, painted by Alexandru Ponehalschi in 1782 (the frescoes are under restoration now). Lovely cemetery around.
-Poienile Izei Church. Built between 1604-1632, impresive frescoes depicting the Hell and the Last Judgement datated in 1793 (by Master Gheorghe).
-Plopis Wooden Church. Built in 1811, painted in same year by Master Stefan). See the Apocalypse.
-Rogoz Wooden Church.. Erected in 1661, painted in 1785 by Radu Munteanu. Regard the "horse heads" from the outer walls, interesting carvings on wood.
-Surdesti Wooden Church. Built in 1766, painted in 1783 by master Stefan. The tower is 54 meters high and the entire church, 72 metres! See the interesting tombstones from the cemetery.

duminică, 21 iunie 2009

Vaser Valley train and timetables

The work on heavily damaged railway which runs on Vaser Valley (pulled by "Mocanita" steam train), due to last July floods, is nearly finished.
The train runs daily in July and August, from Viseu de Sus railway station to Faina and Novat settlements, as follows:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: to Novat (Departure 8,30 AM, arrival 12 AM).
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: to Faina (departure 8,30 aM, arrival 17 PM).
The tickets cost:
To Novat-25 RON the adults (6 Euros), 20 RON the students (5 Euros) and 15 RON the kids (nearly 4 Euros).
To Faina-40 RON the adults (10 Euros), 30 RON the students (over 7 Euros) and 20 RON the kids (5 Euros).
Children up to 10 years old will travel for free only accompanied by parents, and those up to 5 years old may travel for free.
Very important!
The timetable is just informative, expect delays!
The number of seats are limitated, if possible, make a reservation in advance.
On Vaser Valley they are no shops (except Faina), the toilets are without running water and the accomodation is difficult to find on your own.

duminică, 3 mai 2009

The festivals are going on

In the 26th of April, The Dragomiresti's Village folk festival has take place. It was a great event, with thousands of participants, hundreds of children full traditionally dressed and costumed horses!
Today, 3 of May, another great festival is taking place at the border between Maramures and Satu Mare counties ("Sambra Oilor" festival).
And, next Sunday, on 10th May, will be "Tanjaua” at Hoteni.
Everyone will be welcomed. Is a great oportunity to see ancient costumes, music and traditions, a great time for getting good pictures!

duminică, 22 martie 2009

The 2009 Maramures Festivals Calendar

Please note that dates may be subject to change

26th April: Dragomiresti's Village folk festival: 4th May. Traditional music and dance, the town's saint patron (St. Thomas). Folk music and parade of folk costumes.
10th May: “Tanjaua” from Hoteni. The first ploughman festival, held every spring in this small village. The locals wearing their traditional costumes, celebrate the most hardworking man (the one who ploughed first his field). He is seated on a small carriage pulled by young men. Pairs of young men carry take on the role of oxen, raising the decorated yokes and pulling the train out to the river.
24th May: Sieu Village Festival.Dance and songs singing contest for children and adults.
8th June: Traditional Dance at Valeni Village.Traditional music, dance and costumes.
8th June: Budesti Village Festival .Folk music and parade of folk costumes, dedicated to children.
30th June: Barsana Monastery Celebration.
19th July: Ocna Sugatag Gourmet Festival. Hosted by Hungarian community celebrationg its national dish: the goulash; cooking contests.
15th August: Moisei Monastery Pilgrimage. The most important orthodox pilgrimage from Maramures.
16th August: Dance at Prislop Pass.One of the most important Maramures's folk festivals, with thousands of participants.
25-27 September: The Baia Mare’s Chestnut Festival, try to bring something new every year in order to attract people: pop, rock and folk music concerts, book releases, art exhibitions, folklore spectacles, sport competitions etc.
The First November: The Dead’s Day.The people reconnect to the dead, lighting candles in the cemeteries and offering food to the poor. The legend says that ib this night the dead's souls come back to visit their loved ones. Held in every village.
27th December: Sighetu Marmatiei’s Winter Customs Festival.Big carnival parade: hundreds of costumed and masked people from Maramures villages and other regions, horses and children sing carols and perform traditional winter plays.

Bus between Maramures and Bukovina

A new bus line operate between Maramures and Bukovina. The bus runs over Prislop pass (1416 m altitude), linking Iasi with Satu Mare. It operates daily leaving Iasi at 8.00 AM and arriving Satu Mare at 19.37 PM. From Satu Mare, the bus depart at same hour (8.AM).