Welcome To Transylvania, Romania, European Union

Top Wooden Churches of Maramures


One of the largest Romanian wooden churches, the church, which dates from 1643, is 18 meters long by 8 meters wide and features a 26 meters steeple, with four additional smaller turrets on each of its corners. 

The renowned wooden church of Barsana was built in 1711 as a part of the Barsana Monastery, but it has since been relocated not once, but twice, to its current position. The final relocation, from 1795,  put the church in the middle of a cemetery where many victims of a terrible plague that swept the area were entombed.

The Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel church of Surdesti is still extremely impressive, especially when you take into account its history of 247 years. Not a single metal nail was used in the construction of this wooden masterpiece, a testimony to the incredible craftiness of master carpenters and woodworkers that built it.

The wooden church of Ieud Deal has been the subject of both much admiration and much controversy, especially among scholars. While everyone agreed that the imposing construction set in the hilly part of the Ieud village was unparalleled in beauty and artistry, researchers wildly disagreed on its history, in particular on the year it was built.

The village of Poienile Izei has been through many changes since it was first established, around the first half of the XV century, according to the first existing historical record of 1430. Not the least of them, a change of names from Poienile lui Ilieș to Poienile Glodului and then, finally, to Poienile Izei. Still, the one constant in the life of this community has been its Orthodox faith, the most remarkable proof of which is the wooden church built by the villagers in 1632.

Multiculturalism, or at least a certain opening towards other cultures, is not what one would normally expect from a wooden church in Maramureş. Still, the one in Deseşti seems to display particularly such traits. 

Not many places in the world can pride themselves in having a local version of the Sistine Chapel, but the village of Plopiş, of the Şişeşti commune, Maramureş County, is one of them. 

The wooden church of Rogoz was built in 1663, shortly after the Tartar invasion, as indicated by the inscription near its door. In keeping with rural traditions, it was erected at the site of the former church, presumably destroyed by the invaders. In fact, the historical reality of Tartar invasions was such a concern for the villagers that following major attack was actually recorded in another inscription inside this church.

The Church of Sârbi Susani (“Upper Sârbi”), listed as a historical monument, was erected in about 1639 and dedicated to Saint Parascheva. The expenses were mainly supported by a few noble families from the upper part of the village, but even so the church was initially built without iron hinges, glass windows and bells, since these were unaffordable at that time.

The commune of Ocna Sugatag is known mainly for its salted water resorts, but to go there and neglect to see its other wonders would be a great mistake. One of these wonders, perhaps the most important of them, is the wooden church of Sat Sugatag, a centuries old construction that is quite representative for the wooden churches of Maramures County in general.


More articles on the wooden churches coming soon

Stay tuned