Former mine salt excavated by hand, bomb shelter, and warehouse for cheese, Turda Salt Mine in Romania is now one of the most popular underground tourist attraction. In the article ʺ10 Of The Coolest Underground Places In The World ʺ published on Business Insider, Turda Salt Mine took the first place proudly.
Dug in the Transylvanian salt deposits formed more than 13 million years ago, the site has been used for mining salt for hundreds of years. The Salt Mine was mentioned for the first time in 1075. In the beginning, the salt was mined manually, using pickaxes, hammers, chisels, and steel wedges. It was then carried to the surface in wicker baskets, and as the years advanced, in more modern vessels. The workers of the mine also tried using explosives, but the salt that resulted was much finer than they needed, so they abandoned the idea. The salt mine closed in 1932.
Located in Durgău-Valea Sărată (Durgău – Salty Valley) Turda Salt Mine is on the list of historical monuments in Cluj-Napoca County. Due to the European Union's financial support, since 2009, Salina Turda salt mine looks like an underground amusement park and is one of the most popular attractions in Romania.
Hundreds of meters of underground salt galleries open into halls the size of cathedrals. Some of the main attractions of the Turda Salt Mine are the Franz Josef Gallery, Josef Mine, Crivac Room, Rudolf Mine, and the Terezia Mine.
The Iosif mine is a large chamber of 112 meters tall, and it is also called the "Echoes Room" due to the power echo generated by the lack of communication with the other major mining points.
The Crivac Room got its name from the "crivac", the tool used to lift the salt rocks to the surface. It is the only machine of this kind in all of Europe's salt mines that remained in its original location. They were using horses to make the "crivac" work.
The Terezia Mine is by far the most beautiful part of Turda. The salt mining activity left behind an impressive hall of 90 meters high and 87 meters in diameter. Here, you will see a "cascade of salt", an underground salt lake on which you can take a boat ride, as well as various stalactites and other salt formations. In the middle of the lake is a small island shaped like a UFO, where you can relax and enjoy the sights.
Throughout the year, the interior temperature is constant (10-12 degrees Celsius). The salty air has proven therapeutic properties, especially for respiratory problems.
The continual exploration of the salt deposit, at the beginning through surface mining and later in the depth, started during the Roman occupation in Dacia.
Prisoners were never used as a workforce in the Turda Salt Mine, nor anywhere else in Transylvania. The salt was exploited by free people who were hired for one year, their work contract being signed on January 7th. A salt cutter received 12 florins a year. All of them, as a group, received a barrel of wine, an ox, and 100 loaves of bread on the four significant celebrations (Christmas, Easter, Ascension Day, All's Saints Day).
If Turda catches your interest you can try and visit the Turda History Museum or Durgau Lakes as well.
Nowadays the mine is popular among people with respiratory problems. Halotherapy is a form of alternative medicine that claims salt inhalation is beneficial for different health conditions, mainly respiratory.
Besides its breathtaking views, fascinating history, and the therapeutic wonders, now is also an underground theme park. The salt mine combines perfectly the mysterious atmosphere with the fun, creating a science-fiction view. How can you have fun in Turda Mine Salt:
- Discovering new sights from the Ferris wheel.
- Playing mini-golf, bowling, billiard, or ping pong.
- Exploring the underground lake by boat rides.
Monday – Sunday From 09.00 to 18.00.
Adults: 20 lei.
Children/students: 15 lei.
Seniors: 15 lei.
- children under 3 years old have free entrance;
- children and students have to prove with a document (license/passport) aimed at day.
Are you curious to find out more about the salt mine? Access the official website of Turda Salt Mine: www.salinaturda.eu and find out more about current events, schedules, and prices.
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