As one starts on the road from Campulung,
Romania or from Vatra Dornei towards Maramures
on the other side of the Eastern Carpathians, the
route takes you in both cases through the village of
Ciocanesti. It is a village of about 600 houses, all
together forming a genuine outdoor museum. The
walls of each of them wears traditional motifs of the
kind that we find on painted eggs in an array of
shapes and colors behind which lies a relatively
recent tradition whose story we are about to tell in
what follows.

The name of Ciocanesti comes from the main
activity of the inhabitants for centuries on end,
which is to beat (hammer) iron. As a matter of fact,
many localities carry in their name such clues to
ancient occupations of their inhabitants (eg. Baclesti
– wood carving, village carpenters). But Ciocanesti
would have been only a stopover on the route of
those continuing their journey to the country of
Maramures if, in the 50’s of last century, a housewife
hadn’t had an artistic vision that was to kick-start an
aesthetic transformation of the village that continues
It all started with the clever
idea of ​​Leontina Taran, a
housewife from the village
Ciocanest. Willing to adorn
her house, she considered
removing some models from
her traditional clothes and
applying them on the walls
by help of the villager painter
by the name of Dumitru
Tomoioaga. That happened
in 1950, and soon Leontina’s
house was declared a
museum drawing a lot of
attention. Other villagers,
seeing the success Leontina
Taran enjoyed, were quick in
mimicking her and they too
began to decorate their
homes similarly. In time, the
local authorities would
coordinate all these artworks,
financing all the paintings.
Locals say that though every
popular motif displayed on
their homes reflect their
The houses thus resemble
traditional Romanian
embroidered peasant
blouses, embellished with
motifs drawn mostly in red,
green, black and yellow. Even
the church in the village has
its exterior walls decorated
with floral motifs. The village
has become a pearl of the
region of Bukovina, well
placed in string of beauties
which attract thousands of
tourists every season. The
houses are also painted in
the interior and the walls are
decorated with leather vests,
floral skirts and shirts, all of
extraordinary beauty
painstakingly made and
worn by several generations.
The village also hosts a
Easter’s painted eggs
museum, another traditional
craft characteristic to the
area. We will let the pictures
below speak for themselves
about this splendid outdoor

I travel the world & tell stories with photography via socialmedia. Community Manager at Cloudflare.

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