Budeşti & Around

Heading south on the main road from Sighetu Marmaţiei, bear left onto Hwy 186B at Fereşti, which leads to some of Maramureş' more remote villages. If starting out from Baia Mare, you can approach this area on Hwy 184 through Cavnic and the Neteda Pass (1058m).

Corneşti, the first village along this stretch, has a small 18th-century church with interior paintings by Hodor Toador. It is about 250m west of the main road and over a very shaky bridge. Călineşti, 4km further south, has two churches; to distinguish them they are called the Susani ('upper-dweller') church and the Josani church ('lower-dweller') church. The Susani church (1683) is on the right side of the road at the end of the village if coming from the north. The Josani church, built 20 years earlier, is 1km to the east on the road to Bârsana.

From Călineşti a road leads 8km to Sârbi, inhabited since 1402. Its two churches are built from oak. The Josani church, the first on the right and dating from 1665, has two icons by Radu Munteanu. The Susani church (1667) is at the other end of the village and 100m off the main road. Below this church there's a collection of buildings associated with traditional industry that used the waters of the Cosău River for power: a flour mill, a distillery and a fulling mill. The last of these is something like a natural 'laundrette’ and used to clean and prepare wool for processing into clothing and blankets.

Budeşti, 5km to the south, is a larger village of intricately carved wooden gates and cosy cottages stacked with firewood. There are a couple of shops scattered about and a pension. The village also has one of the most beautiful (and largest) wooden churches in Maramureş. Budeşti Josani church, built in 1643 and measuring 18m by 8m, features four small turrets surrounding the bell tower. Among the church’s wooden and glass icons is a prized 18th-century painting of the Last Judgment.