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Merry Cemetery

sapanta merry cemeteryThe Merry Cemetery (Romanian: Cimitirul Vesel) is located in the village of Săpânța, very close to the northern border of Romania to the Ukraine. The Merry Cemetery is famous for its colorful tombstones with naive painting that represent scenes from the life of the deceased persons and even poetry in which those persons are described.

The first gravestone was sculptured and painted in 1935 by the local artist Stan Ioan Patras and the tradition continued until today, as the cemetery became an open-air museum with over 800 such crosses. The Merry Cemetery is often used as representation for the way Romanians relate to death as being a joyful moment when one escapes the trouble of earthly life and is absorbed by the powers of nature.

sapanta merry cemetery

Example of a cross inscription:

Original text (Romanian) English translation
Sub aceasta cruce grea
Zace beata soacra-mea
De trei zile mai traia
Zaceam eu si citea ea.
Under this heavy cross
Is lying drunk my mother-in-law.
If she would have lived another three days,
I would have lyed there, and she would have read this.

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