Maramures is the north-western Romanian region, considered by many to be the heart and soul of rural Romania. The region has carefully and distinctively preserved the culture, traditions and lifestyle of a mediaeval peasant past and it stands as a testament to traditional simplicity, pride and moral values.
Maramures is home to many villages where century-old traditions are still part of daily life. The inhabitants of this area have preserved the rural culture and crafts of their Dacian ancestors. Little has changed in the centuries gone by, families remain in the same villages as their ancestors, traditional skills and crafts are passed down from generation to generation. Traditional hand-woven clothing continues to be practical, the church continues to be the soul of the village, neighbours know one another and continue to lend a helping hand. Maramures villages are distinguished by their unique wooden churches with tall spires and shingled roofs. Woodlands still account for more than four-fifths of the land surface of Maramures. It is therefore understandable that wood has long been and continues to be the medium of expression for the region’s artisans. Elaborate woodcarvings decorate the eaves, entryways and windows of houses. The local handiwork is also seen in the hand-woven carpets and intricate embroidery that adorns folk dresses still worn by the locals.