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The wooden churches of Maramures best places to see in Romania

The wooden churches of Maramures is probably one of the best places to visit in Romania, because of the way these wooden churches look and because where they are located.

Some say that Maramures is a land of wonder with its green hills, traditional villages  and warm hearted people, making it a true rural fairytale. Many visitors compare these lands with the J.R.R. Tolkien realms Hobbiton of the Shire from Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit Movie.

The villages look similar to the ones in the movie, because of the green hills, because many houses are built from wood and natural materials and even people are very good hearted, with good intentions, always willing to make you feel like home.

wooden churches of Maramures one of the best places to visit in Romania
wooden churches in Maramures one of the best place to visit in Romania

Maramures holds lots of history tales and legends waiting to be discovered by foreign travellers, there was even a Robin Hood character in this area named Pintea, you can find more about him below where i give you more details about the wooden church of Budesti.

The wooden churches of Maramures are one of the best places to SEE in Romania

Maramures is a region situated in the northern Transylvania, the wood church of Maramures are a group of about 100 orthodox churches some catholic ones each, being build in different periods and having different architecture most of them being built from wood and some from wood and stone.

Being built many years ago, some of the churches being even older than 200 years, many predict the opposite, but the churches have passed the ravages of time and still remain a Romanian gem of northern Transylvania, constantly sustaining and supporting the local people and the amazing visitors.

The wood churches are not only majestic historic monuments are one of the best places to visit in Romania, and are also working religious centers that still attract parishioners. Every Sunday morning you can see groups of villagers going to churches to worship God, some of them are still wearing their traditional Maramures costumes, which enriches the cultural experience even more for any visitor.

The wooden churches of Maramures were registered in the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999.

36 of the almost 100 wooden churches in Maramures are located inside the Historical Maramures. Eight of them are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, being located in the villages of Barsana, Plopis, Desesti, Poienile Izei, Ieud, Surdesti and Rogoz.

The wooden church of Barsana

The wooden church of Barsana, also, known as the “Holy Mother’s Entrance”, was originally built in 1711 as part of the Barsana Monastery, and since then it has been relocated twice.

The final relocation being in 1795 where the church is currently situated, at that time it was in the middle of a cemetery where were entombed the people that died of a terrible plague.

Barsana Church Wood Churches of Maramures best places to see in RomaniaWooden Churches of Barsana Visit Romania best things to do in Romania – Wooden Churces of Maramures

The wooden church of Budesti

Situated in the lower part of the village, this wooden church was built in 1643 the wood used to build it was exclusively oak. The church was named after St. Nicholas, a unique characteristic of this church is its beautiful tower.

Four smaller towers surround the main tower being built in a gothic style, being something truly unique to the architecture of Maramures.

Besides the unique architectural style and the collection of old religious paintings, the wooden church of Budesti owns a rather unique and interesting item – the coat of mail and the helmet of Pintea the Brave.

Pintea being a local character like Robin Hood in the area, who used to steal from the rich and give to the poor, which made him a rebel, a legend in the area and also a hero for the people of that time.

The wooden church of Desesti

Another fine example of the wooden churches of Maramures is the church of Desesti, a small village located on the Mara Valley in Maramures. It was built in 1770 and named after Pious Paraschiva.

The wooden church of Surdesti

The wooden church of Surdesti also known as the Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel church of Surdesti is unique and beautiful especially when you look at its 247 years of historical existence.

It was built without the need of any metal nail in its construction, being a true wooden masterpiece, an incredible proof of craftiness of the master woodworkers and carpenters that built it.

All these wooden churches of Maramures own beautiful and interesting architectural style and an impressive collection of old religious paintings.

Not many people know that in Romania there are more than 1500 old wooden churches and all were built before the 20th century, many of them impressing the visitors with their beauty and legends created around them.

All these churches in Maramures are astonishing examples of northern Romania mountain specific architecture from several historical periods.

Most of them have very similar lines, having a considerable height, unique wood joints techniques, shingle roofs, being decorated with unique traditional ornamental motifs.


The wooden churches of Maramures are one of the best places to visit in Romania and one of the most amazing things to do while you visit Transylvania.

This is because of their beauty, and because of the history and legends that are hidden inside each of the churches, waiting to be discovered by you when you visit each of them.