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The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance from Sighetu Marmatiei, Maramures County is not a place for everyone. It is a museum of pain where you are marked by the cruelty manifested by your own kind. So, it is not a casual tourist attraction. You do not come out of there happy and full of knowledge, but thoughtful and a little more philosopher.
The Memorial was established after the Revolution in the former prison of Sighet, one of the most notorious detention centres in Romania.
Leading figures of the interwar period were closed here by the Communists, which bothered due to their political positions, but also ordinary people who were considered dangerous by the regime. Many of them have never stepped outside the prison walls.
The current museum realized in the decommissioned prison tries to show the tourists the true face of oppression before 1989. It was an idea of the poetess Ana Blandiana, who did not quit until she saw it come true.
From the entrance you are welcome by the faces of those who suffered in this institution of horror, their faces being displayed on the corridor with portraits of the communism victims. You get cold shivers when you think how many people, hundreds of them, lived their despair within these walls.
The former prison has three levels; each of them has several museum rooms made from the former cells.
However, some of them were kept as such for authenticity, more exactly the rooms where Iuliu Maniu (ground floor) and Gh. I. Bratianu (on the second floor) died. In these two cells there are only some thick twilled clothes and an iron bed without mattress. Just like in the period when terror ruled here, two more cells were kept – the punishment rooms for the prisoners who did not “behave” in which they were isolated and tied with an iron ring.
A cold sweat overwhelms you when you enter the room dedicated to the torture procedures. Here is recreated an interrogation room with the dazzling light used to “poke” the prisoners’ eyes.
In the other rooms, there are detailed crucial moments of those 45 years of the communist system of our country. Even if you stayed a week, you would not have enough time to read the terror testimonials written on the walls of the former cells.
Finally, some useful information: the Museum is on Corneliu Coposu Street no. 4 of Sighet City, Maramures County. The opening depends on the season. In summer (April 15th – October 15th), daily between: 9.30-18.30. In winter, you can visit from Tuesday to Sunday between: 10.00-16.00. The tickets cost 6 RON, and pupils, students and pensioners are entitled to half price.
Images from Pain Memorial-Sighetu Marmatiei
- 1 “Mihai Viteazul” (Michael the Brave) – rural celebration
- 2 “La fântâna dorului” (At the Sorrow Fountain) – folk festival
- 3 The Onion Festival
- 4 Negreni Fair
- 5 The Grapes Ball
- 6 Folklore and folk art afferent to the tradition of Beius Fair
- 7 The Slovakian Potatoes Holiday
- 8 Aeternus Maramorosiensis – Medieval Festival of Sighetu Marmatiei
- 9 The “Salajean Village” Festival – Porolissum
- 10 Autumn on Ierului Valley