Maramureş was gradually populated by the Ukrainians starting with the 13th century.
According to the census in 2002, Ukrainians in Romania are the third most important ethnic group in the country, with a population of 61,353.
The main communities of this ethnic minority, mainly Christian Orthodox, are found in Maramureş and Bucovina, Dobrogea and Banat.
The Maramureş county is home to 34,270 Ukrainians. Since the dawn of their time here, their livelihood has been provided for with animals breeding, timber, weaving, milling, growing bees, etc. Today, they mainly harvest timber, breed cattle, or work in education, forestry and administration.
Animals breeding is favored by the natural pastures, which stretch over great surfaces. People breed sheep, cattle, swine, horses and poultry.
Timber harvesting is very common, and much of the commune work as carpenters and lumberjacks.
The dominant religion is Christian orthodox, with 63% of the population. Recently, some have turned Pentecostals (31%) and Adventists (6%).
The religious service is carried out in ancient Slavic. In time, the language suffered several changes with the introduction of words used in spoken language. This was due to the priests, who adapted the sermon to the understanding of the locals.
After the year 1990s, Christian books in Ukrainian began to be printed.
Today, young Ukrainians can study in their mother tongue in the "Taras Shevchenko" High School in Sighetu-Marmaţiei and at the Ukrainian Department of the Faculty of Letters, in the city of Cluj-Napoca.
The county of Maramures facts
County Capital: Baia Mare
Population: 530,605 inhabitants
Area: 6,215 km²
The Maramureş county lies in the north of Romania, neighboring the counties of Satu-Mare, Sălaj, Cluj, Bistriţa-Năsăud and Suceava, and the Ukrainian frontier to the north, with a surface of 6,215 km² (2.6% of the country's overall surface) and a varied landscape.
The mountainous area belongs to the Eastern Carpathians with 43% of the territory, the highlands (with hills, plateaus and slopes) account for 30%, and the lowlands (valleys, meadows and terraces) the remaining 27%.
The main mountains are: Rodnei (the tallest), Maramureşului and the volcanic range Igniş-Gutai-Ţibleş.
The narrow-gauge steam train (or the mocanitza) on Vaserului Valley (one of the most impressive gorges in Eastern Carpathians), Izei Valley and Marei Valley (on national Route 18).
Religious sites: traditional wooden churches hold a special place in the heritage of folk creations in Romania, unique in the world with their forms and decorations specific to Romanian architectural style: Bogdan Voda (18th century, with painted interiors), Surdeşti (year 1724, with the highest steeple in the area: 54 m); Moisei (1699); Barsana (1780), Budeşti (sec. XVII-XVIII), Călineşti (1663, painted in 1754), Rozavlea (1700, wall painting from 1775), Botiza (1796), Ieud; the "Holy Trinity" church in Baia Mare, erected by Jesuites between 1717-1720, in Baroque style; the Izvorul Negru Monastery, near Moisei (1672).
The Merry Cemetery - Săpanţa (18 km away from Sighetu Marmaţiei), unique in the world due to its originality: the wooden tomb crosses sculpted and painted by popular craftsman Stan Pătraş turned the graveyard into a true museum. The colors of the crosses and the hilarious obituaries depict essential moments of life and highlight the vigor of Romanian spirit, which defies death itself.
Famous Maramures gates - Săpanţa, Vadul Izei, Deseşti, Giuleşti;
Cultural establishments: The Museum of Maramureş, in Sighetu Marmaţiei, with ethnography and popular art sections (popular outfits and architecture, folk masks, icons, home industry tools); natural science (Maramures flora and fauna); The Mineral Museum, Baia Mare.
Resorts: Borşa (850 m altitude, spa located at the foot of Rodnei mountains), Ocna Șugatag (490 m altitude, 20 km away from Sighetu Marmaţiei, at the foot of the Țibleş - Gutai Mountains).