Vadu Izei and Its History

Vadu Izei is at the confluence of the Mara and Iza Rivers. Surrounded by hills and situated on a small plain only a few square kilometers in size, Vadu Izei stands beside these two rivers.

The picturesque meadows and estuaries in the area shelter many species of birds with spectacular songs and colors. Some found around Vadu Izei are the cuckoo, skylark and sparrow.

The hills are covered with apple, plum and cherry orchards giving way to thick forests of pine and oak in many places. The green, slow moving water of the Iza River merge with the blue water of the Mara in Vadu Izei which offer an abundant home to many species of fish.

The village is well known for its impressive, traditional, wooden gates carved by Gheorghe Borodi, the songs of Maria Trifoi, the melodies played by violinist Gheorghe Covaci Cioata, Tiberiu Utan's poetry and the magnificent drawings of Vasile Kazar.

The geography, environment and history of the area have put their mark on the people of Vadu Izei. They are hard working, determined, honest and hospitable. They are outwardly friendly to friends and strangers alike. The greeting "bun venit" meaning a warm welcome in Romanian comes without hesitation from the mouths of farmers, laborers, everyone.

Vadu Izei and its incorporated neighbor village of Valea Stejarului (Oak Valley) have a total population of 3,000 inhabitants. 98% of the population claims Romanian ancestry. Here are found farmers, laborers and shop owners. Other residents commute to nearby Sighetu-Marmatiei for work and study.

The History of Vadu Izei

Vadu Izei is an ancient village. Artifacts found here date back to the Bronze Age. Twelve bracelets with geometric decoration were found here corresponding to that time.

The oldest document mentioning the village (considered to be the birth certificate of a village) was dated the 27th of June 1383. It was found in Sighetu-Marmatiei and was written in Latin. The document deeds possession of these lands to the noble Lupu of Vad. It also states another noble, Codrea, has no rights to the title of these lands. Through the years that followed Vadu Izei went by many different names: Satul lui Lupu (Lupo's Village), Vadu Lupului, Vad and Vadu-Izei.

A History of Vadu Izei by Date:
Andrei Leuca inherits his parents' estate in Vad.
1423- Andrei Leuca becomes the leader of the Cosau region.
1450- Mihai Leuc` becomes the leader of the Sighet region.
1475- Mihai Leuca becomes the leader of the Cosau region.
1499- Lazar and Stefan hold title on all of Mt. Sidau
1514- Lazar's lands and estate are confiscated due to his part in the popular uprising, "The Peasant War," commanded by Gheorghe Doja.
1671- Baron Emeric Thökölyi is given title to huge tracts of land and many serfs. He also claims all the forest between the Iza and Mara Rivers known as Dumbrava.
1680- Countess Maria Prinyi is given title to land and serfs in Vad.
1702- A document decrees the obligation and loyalty of all the serfs to both the baron and the countess.
1715- Stefan Vesei is given title to a large part of the land in Vad.
1758- The old wooden church of the village Berbeati is brought to Vad and reconstructed on "Ulita Batrina" (The Old Lane).
1774- The serfs are ordered to serve a new master, Stefan Vesei.
1775, 1776- Deac Lupu is named cantor of the church.
1782- The priest for Vad and Valea Stejarului is U. Costan and after him is Popa Lumei, a resident of Valea Stejarului.
1799- Some of the serfs are allowed to become free men and women.
1843- Valea Stejarului is incorporated and governed by Vad. The document also lists a census of over 1700 Greco-Catholics and a stone school house.
1848- Serfdom is abolished.
1861- The farmers who were once serfs are now allowed to own land.
1869- On the 4th of April the General Meeting of the Local Council is held in Vad. It is decided the official language of the local administration and the school will be Romanian instead of Hungarian.
1884- A church of stone is constructed in Vad. The old wooden church is returned to Berbesti. Instrumental in these actions are Ioan Pop, a principal of the church in Vad and the Mara Valley, and Vasile Iodin, another church principal who contributed the funds for the new church's construction.
1914- The beginning of World War One. Vad loses 69 men to the war. Their names are carved on a marble memorial on the church grounds.
1918- The end of the war brings about the Great Union of Romania. This gives Romania its greatest borders in its history. The agreement is signed in Alba Iulia
1940- Romania enters World War Two. It loses Northern Transylvania and Maramures to Hungary in the "Dictate of Vienna."
1945- The residents of Vad sign a petition against the annexation of Maramures into the Soviet Union.
1945- Romania regains Maramures through treaties at the end of World War Two.
1946- A communist government is established throughout Romania.
1947- King Mihai I of Romania is banished from the country and the Romanian Republic is created.
1948- All means of production come under government control throughout Romania.
1949- Collectivization of farmlands begins. This more than any other program has enormous impact on the agrarian society of Maramures.
1962- Due to poor results collectivization is ended and the Agricultural Cooperative is introduced in its place.
1968- Vad becomes Vadu-Izei
1972- The village medical office is built
1973- A new school is built for students from the first through the eighth grades.
1982- The Cooperative building is completed
1989- The Romanian revolution begins. The Agricultural Production Cooperative is ended. Democratic elections are held. Vadu-Izei begins a lasting friendship with the village Braine-le-Comte in Belgium as a part of Operation Villages Romaines.
1991- The cultural exchange organization "Confluences" is founded with Braine-le-Comte.
1994- Vadu Izei's tourism organization, "Agro-Tur-Art," is founded.
1997- The association "Tara Maramures" is founded. MARAMUZICAL, "The First International Festival of Violin and Folk Music" begins in Vadu Izei.
1999- Tirg la Vadu Izei (The Fair in Vadu Izei) is organized, drawing artists, farmers and musicians from around Europe.

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