Sighetu Marmaţiei is a town in Maramures county situated in the Northern extremity of Romania, the cultural and economic centre of the historical Maramures. The town Sighetu Marmatiei was documentary attested in 1326. Until the fourteenth century it served only as a place of gatherings and fairs, but then it became more and more important until it was named the capital of the historical Maramures, while during the communist regime Sighetu Marmatiei had an industrial role. As a new customs was opened at the border between Sighetu Marmatiei and Solotvino in Ukraine on the fifteenth of January, 2007, the town’ economy developed rapidly.
The town’s main tourist attraction is the Sighet Prison, which was later on named the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance. In Sighet there functioned the feared prison used by the communist regime to exterminate Romania’s intellectual elite who, one way or another, opposed the regime. Nowadays the prison has been functioning as a museum from 1994, hosting the premises of the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance, also known as the Memorial of Pain in Sighet. This edifice was located in the central part of the town, next to the Town Hall. The former prison, turned into a memorial of pain was placed under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The first halls of the museum were inaugurated in 1997, when the Memorial was designated sight of national interest, being also recognized as the most important project designed by the civil authorities to rebuilt and analyse the communist past, an unique project in the Eastern countries. The tourist attraction is also extremely important for the foreigners who are not familiar with the atrocities and cruelties done by the communist regime in Romania. Unfortunately, all the aspects you will get to know when visiting this place are part of the realities confronted by the Romanian people before the revolution in 1989.
We recommend that tourists interested in history should visit the Museum of the Maramures village, an outdoors site. The museum was built as a reservation of peasant architectural monuments, with the aim of recreating an authentic local village, with houses and households characteristic for the main areas of the historical Maramures.
Those interested in local art are invited to visit The Ethnographic Museum of Maramures, located in the centre of the town. Here tourists can see objects used in the main occupations in this part of the country. Apart from this, on display there are icons painted on glass and wood, pieces of the traditional attire, masks and costumes worn during winter holidays for traditional customs. The town’s Synagogue represents another attraction, along with the Museum of the Jewish culture which display an exhibition dedicated to the local laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel. If you want to have an idea of the North of Romania, our agency recommends that you visit this town and you will not regret it.