The cheerful Sapanta cemetery in Romania

The cemetery of Sapanta in Romania is a place to die of laughter. A place where people have been buried with decorated tombstones for a few years. But not only that, but with epitaphs that in a very humorous way claim to remember the life of the deceased. Without a doubt, one of the most curious places in the country.

The cemetery of the blue tombs

Contemplated as a whole, the first thing that catches your eye when you arrive at the Sapanta cemetery are its hundreds of tombs indicated by tall blue tombstones with a roof and with its cross at the top. A color that represents freedom and hope, although it can also be understood as the representation of heaven to which souls go.

Tombs in the cemetery of Sapanta - /

Only that image is the most attractive. But as we get closer to those graves, we distinguish that they have wood engraved images on their surface and painted with bright colors.

Those images they represent the people buried there, almost all of them immortalized doing the job they played in life.

But there is more. Long legends are inscribed on that same tombstone. However, if Romanian is unknown, it is impossible to decipher what is written there.

But instead, we surely see a place, touring the cemetery of Sapanta with a smile on his mouth. And you may even laugh out loud once in a while. And is that These inscriptions relate the lives of those buried with great humor.

Sapanta Cemetery History

Sapanta Cemetery - Richard Mortel /

The origin of this type of tombs is not very distant. It goes back to 1935. It was then that the craftsman Stan Patras made a first gravestone that included a humorous click on the deceased. And such irreverence was very successful, since thereafter there was no lack of clients who commissioned similar items.

Even Stan Patras himself made the tombstone for his grave With that same goal. And today it looks inside the cemetery of Sapanta, very close to the church that has been built in the cemetery. By the way, a temple that has the same aesthetic appearance naive Than his famous graves.

Stan Patras House

Stan Patras House - ReflectedSeredipity /

The truth is that the cemetery of Sapanta has put this town on the map. By the way, It is located in the Romanian region of Maramures, in the northernmost part of the country. In fact, it is only 2 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. A place that nobody traveled before making Patras' gravestones known.

For this they are very grateful to their work. So much, that today you can visit what was his house and his workshop, Very close to the cemetery. And where by the way, his disciples continue to do an identical job, since the success of these graves continues today.

The images of the graves

Engraving in a tomb of the Sapanta cemetery

On those dominant blue backgrounds, the recorded images of deceased people stand out. They are scenes that they also serve us to know the traditional ways of life of the town.

There we see trades such as coal or farmer, and many others as a seller, veterinarian or spinner. All of them represented in a very visual way and naive, which matches the optimistic tone with which Stan Patras dealt with death.


Sapanta Cemetery - Daniel Duce /

But it is clear that the most unique thing about the Sapanta cemetery is its epitaphs. In them, for example, refers to the taste for the drink of one of the dead, so much, that even from the grave he asks us to leave a bottle.

OR in other cases remember a mother in law not too friendly. Hundreds of stories from a small population, where everyone knows each other and where there are references to facts that everyone knows, but it is difficult for foreigners to understand.

However, there are also less humorous and more sour epitaphs. For example, that of a three-year-old girl who died in a traffic accident. And in the legend the hell is simply desired to the one who ran over the creature.

Video: Merry Cemetery. 100 Wonders. Atlas Obscura (January 2020).