The resistance of wood: the small elegance obscures the big ostentations

In Maramureș, as in the rest of Romania, traditional wooden houses – famous for being built with a beam assembly technique that does not use nails – are replaced, one after the other, by conspicuous concrete constructions.

Built with the money earned by emigrants abroad, these new homes are erected as monuments to the economic status achieved. It almost seems that there is a competition between neighbors to those who build the largest, most flashy, sumptuous house.

And to win the race you always have to add something, a floor, a balcony, a series of columns, a color that attracts the eye of the passerby.

The problem is that the European economy is fluctuating – often for the worse – and the revenue of emigrants is not stable. And then many of these houses remain in the middle, undefined, ghosts in the magnificent landscape that surrounds them.

But something is changing and more and more people are determined to protect the local cultural and architectural heritage, which includes churches declared sites of universal interest by UNESCO, small villages and wooden houses perfectly integrated into the surrounding environment.

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