The spiritual warmth of Deseşti and the wooden churches of Maramureş

Picnic at the Cathedral

So I have this thing about sacred art and architecture.  And in all my travels to see religious art in situ, I’ve never experienced sacred spaces as unique as the wooden Churches of Maramureş in Northern Transylvania.  During 1000 or so years Hungarians ruled Maramureş, they forbid the Orthodox Romanians from building churches in stone.  As a delightful result, a distinct style of wooden churches developed and continue to be built today.  Many of the churches are quite well preserved and eight are UNESCO World Heritage Sights.

Visiting the wooden churches is informal: you show up and call the phone number listed on the church door.  A neighbor lady pops over with a key and lets you look around as long as you’d like.


This beauty is the church of Deseşti, built in 1770.   See–there’s a lookout platform on the tall spire and a roof with two skirts.


A shape of a cross in the shingles



Deseşti’s West…

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