|Franz Bauer | profile | all galleries >> Travel >> Romania - Rumänien >> Merry Cemetery in Sapanta,Romania
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The Merry Cemetery (Romanian: Cimitirul Vesel) is a cemetery in the village of Săpânta, Maramures county, Romania,that is famous for its colourful tombstones with the native paintings that represent scenes from the life of the buried persons and even poetry in which those persons are described.
The unusual feature of this cemetery is that it grows apart from most of the European cultures, that consider death something solemn. Sometimes this is put in connection with the Dacian culture, whose philosophy was based on the immortality of the soul and the belief that somebody's death was a joyful moment, as that person was getting to a better life.
The cemetery has its origin in some crosses sculpted by Ioan Stan Patras ,born 1908 - died 1977,his own grave will be seen here ,made by himself before dying. In 1935, Patras sculpted the first epitaph and since the 1960s, the whole cemetery was populated with over 800 such crosses, sculpted from oak wood, and it became an open-air museum and a tourist attraction.His work will be continued by one of his learners,by Dumitru Pop,restaurating now old and creating new tombstones.