Turda Salt Mine
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, being 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.
Hundreds of meters of galleries open into halls the size of cathedrals. Some of the main attractions of the Turda Salt Mine are the Iosif mine, Crivac room, 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.
The Terezia mine is by far the most beautiful part of Turda. The salt mining left behind an impressive hall of 90 meters high and 87 meters in diameter. Here, you will see a “cascade of salt”, an underground 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 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.
Interesting facts about Turda Salt Mine:
The continual exploration of the salt deposit, in 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 major celebrations (Christmas, Easter, Ascension Day, All’s Saints Day).
After its closing in 1932, the salt mine was forgotten till the Second World War when it was reopened and used as an anti-aircraft shelter. Up to the year 1992, when the salt mine was opened to the public. Until then, it got the status of the touristic site. The first 500 meters of Franz Joseph conveyance gallery had been used for quite a long time, as a warehouse for cheese storage.
The most common way to explore Turda is via a day trip from Cluj.
Monday – Sunday From 09.00 to 18.00.
Adults: 20 lei.
Children/students: 10 lei.
Seniors: 12 lei.
Free / Reduced Admission
– children under 3 years old have free entrance;
– children and students have to prove with a document (license/passport) aimed at day.