8. The Merry Cemetery

In Săpânța you will discover an unusual graveyard, which intrigues and impresses everyone with its originality. It is the Merry Cemetery, named this way due to the lively colours painted on its funeral crosses, particularly the striking blue which bears the name of the place: Săpânța Blue. The founder of the Merry Cemetery was Stan Ioan Pătraş, who, in 1931-1935, started to make crosses differently than those of regular graveyards. The images carved in wood render, naively, an important aspect in the life of the person buried there and the epitaphs are short meaningful poems written in the local variety of the language as a confession of the deceased. The Merry Cemetery is, without doubt, attractive: it offers a unique perspective on death and a specific outlook on the villagers' mentality. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region and one of the top 10 most visited funeral destinations in the world.

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