Discover our recommendations of cemeteries you should visit in Romania, You’ll have a memorable time visiting at least two or three of these special landmarks during your next vacation here.
Far from spooky vampire or Halloween stories, many cemeteries all over the world are popular tourist attractions. Contemplative and peaceful, full of incredible monuments and amazing stories, cemeteries offer a great chance to discover a local destination in a more profound way.
Not only you can visit the resting places of the most famous locals, but you can uncover and understand fascinating details about a city’s or a country’s history. Romania is a great example in this way. Its Jewish cemeteries mark the important presence of the Jewish communities up until WW2 and the massive migration that followed. Its Lutheran cemeteries attest to the centuries-old presence of the German ethnics in Transylvania. The unique Merry Cemetery from Maramures transforms death into poems and art.
Bellu Cemetery opens our list of beautiful cemeteries you should visit in Romania. An off-the-beaten-track attraction for tourists who wish to see more than the landmarks of the historical center, this cemetery is one of the best places to visit in Bucharest.
It’s a magnificent ‘garden of souls’ where the elites of the 19th and early 20th centuries built splendid mausoleums and statues to mark their lives and deaths. Almost 200 of these are historical monuments. Take your time to look around, this is one of the most authentic spots of the capital.
Bucharest had an important Jewish minority until the repressive years of WW2. But most Jews left Romania for good after the end of the war. The rich architectural heritage that still survived was destroyed during the massive demolitions ordered by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Luckily, the Jewish cemeteries were too far from the center to be affected by his destructive plans. Filantropia, the oldest, and the two cemeteries from Soseaua Giurgiului are the eternal testimony of the Jewish presence in the history of Bucharest.
It’s here that you can see a small monument built in memory of the Struma ship disaster from 1941 when only one passenger out of 800 survived the attack of a USSR submarine. It was one of the biggest naval civilian tragedies of WW2.
More Jewish cemeteries from Romania deserve a visit. You’ll find the biggest one in the outskirts of the Pacurari neighborhood in Iasi. This is one of the oldest in the country and the burial place of the pogrom victims from 1941. Over 10,000 Jews were exterminated, in just a few days, during the extremist regime imposed by General Ion Antonescu.
The cemeteries from Sighetu Marmatiei, Aiud, Alba Iulia, and Ramnicu Sarat are also on our list of recommendations.
The Paupers’ Cemetery, part of the Sighet Memorial, honors the memory of the political prisoners who died at the hands of the criminal communist regime. At least 54 of them were buried in secret on the land where the cemetery exists today. Few survived to be freed, only to be surveilled and harassed for the rest of their life.
You probably won’t find this small cemetery from Alba County in any tourist guidebooks. The contemporary Petresti is just a fading image of what once was a beautiful village with a strong German community.
Parts of the tower, fragments of the defensive wall, and the Lutheran cemetery are the only historical reminders that survive after the last German ethnics left the village. Don’t miss a visit here, it’s a rare attraction even for a destination like Transylvania.
If you’re lucky enough to find the doors opened, you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. The Lutheran cemetery surrounds the ruins of the medieval fortification that dates from the 14th century.
Both Garbova and Peteresti are a short drive from the fortified church of Calnic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Evangelical Cemetery from Sighisoara keeps its peace even when the Upper Town is packed with tourists. On top of the hill, next to the 14th-century Evangelical church, this is our favorite place to cool down when the summer heat and the crowds take over the citadel.
The most famous cemetery on our list and a top attraction from Maramures, the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta is simply merry. Vivid blue crosses with funny poems and small paintings that honor the dead are the distinct feature of this unique cemetery.
Over one century ago, the multi-ethnic cemetery from Sulina was built on the shore of the Black Sea. The headquarter of the European Commission of the Danube, Sulina was at the time a cosmopolitan place where European officials, businessmen, adventurers, pirates, and sailors lived or passed by. The cemetery is among the few surviving testimonies of this multicultural past.
Religion was the criteria to organize its plots. Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Old Believers were buried in the seashore cemetery. Decades after Sulina lost its cosmopolitan culture, a part of the wetland was drained at the orders of communist dictator Ceausescu. While the delta never became an agricultural field, the land took over, and the cemetery lost its sea view.
Discover more about the cemetery and Dobrogea on Discover Dobrogea.
Don’t hesitate to visit the historic cemeteries of bigger cities from Romania. Discover also the simple and small ones from the countryside where simple crosses are almost hidden by beautiful flower gardens. There are just so many forgotten stories to uncover.