Graveyards are typically somber, humorless places. But the Merry Cemetery in the small Romanian village of Sapanta is not your average graveyard.

The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, northwestern Romania. | (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Containing more than 1,000 sky-blue crosses meticulously decorated with geometric patterns, red rosettes, and lively illustrations, the Merry Cemetery celebrates the eccentricities of life.

A wood sculptor named Stan Ionas Patras cultivated this aesthetic in 1935 after more than a decade of carving traditional grave markers. Sapanta is a small community with few secrets and Patras took advantage of the village's gossipy nature when he began experimenting with carved drawings and limericks. His picture-book-like epitaphs honor the distinctness of his neighbors' lives and deaths — rich ironies, dirty secrets, and all.

Ioan Toaderu loved horses. One more thing he loved very much. To sit at a table in a bar. Next to someone else's wife.

Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my mother in law poor … Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She'll bite my head off.

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The story of a child who was run over by a car is depicted on her cross, center right, in the Merry Cemetery. | (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Sculptor Dumitru Pop Tincu at his workshop in Sapanta. | (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Before his death in 1977, Patras made about 700 headstones, including his own, in the Merry Cemetery. Since then, an apprentice of the late Patras, Dumitru Pop Tincu, has continued the unique tradition.

Today, the Merry Cemetery is one of Romania's most popular tourist attractions.

"I've seen what touches [tourists]. This cemetery ... is not just a cemetery," 62-year-old Pop Tincu told AP. "People realized that this indeed is a place where you can laugh at death itself."

Indulge in an uncomfortable chuckle with a brief tour of Romania's Merry Cemetery below:

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A man cries at a relative's grave in the Merry Cemetery. | (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)