Sapanta Village – Merry Cemetery

The Merry Cemetery /Cimitirul Vesel in Romanian/ in Sapanta village has gained originality and value by means of the chopped, carved and painted tombstones with naive paintings describing, in original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta village contains crosses on which the local artisan has chiseled out versified epitaphs, most of them full of a remarkable sense of humor, particular to the area and to all the Romanians. The value of these works of art of the Sapanta Cemetery is recognized both at home and abroad. The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta village is well known for its colorful, wooden crosses, which depict the life of the deceased in a realistic, sometimes humorous way. The Sapanta cemetery crosses are made in the village, by a wood carver. The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta village became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.

The unusual feature of the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta village is that it diverges from the prevalent belief, culturally shared within European societies – a belief that views death as something indelibly solemn. Connections with the local Dacian culture have been made, a culture whose philosophical tenets presumably vouched for the immortality of the soul and the belief that death was a moment filled with joy and anticipation for a better life. Ancestors considered that death is not the end, it’s just a new beginning, so they had a special way of honoring the dead.