To exist, we need more than shelter and food. We have to feed our mind from the eternal spring of knowledge, to rest in a silent place and think about our destiny in the world. We all have looked for such a place…Maybe we haven’t looked for it in the right place…
Turda Salt Mine is the perfect place for meditation and healing.
The salt mine has a strange beauty. At the entrance a cold breath urges you to turn back but curiosity pushes you forward. You leave this world behind and enter the unknown…the underworld starts to reveal its wonders.
You have never dreamed about going to a different world. A maze of galleries leads to places where your thoughts could be frightened by the image of the inferno. Huge empty spaces are opening in front, making you feel small and helpless. Giant bells wait for you to break their silence with the sound of your steps.
The light ties to clear away the eternal darkness grasping through some wells to the depths. The silence interweaves the last echoes of the creators’ steps, who have achieved a real work of art.
A feeling of respect grows in the thoughts of the tourists who are visiting these places, respect for those who worked hardly here for centuries. Contemporary artists have added to their work new creations, lighting the dark with the sunshine of their spirit.
Turda Salt Mine is a fascinating destination, one of the most important salt mines in Transylvania, a place known since ancient times. The beginnings of salt exploitations are dating back to Roman occupation in Dacia, but there is no clear evidence to support these activities.
The first document that attests the existence of a salt mine in Turda was issued by the Hungarian chancellery in May, 1271.
The salt exploitation began to decline after 1840, due to increased competition from Ocna Mures Salt Mine and the mine was permanently closed for exploitation in 1932.
Although the salt was dug out of the ground in the Middle Ages, the mine has changed its purpose over time and has become one of the most important tourist attractions in Romania. The Turda Salt Mine is today a true history museum of salt mining and a heliotherapy center.
After a major investment of 6 million EUR the mine was modernized and reopened its doors to visitors and tourists in January, 2010.
The entertainment attractions encourage tourists to come here:
- A Ferris wheel
- Mini golf
- Track bowling
- Billiard table
- Table tennis
- Sports ground: football, badminton, handball
- Boat ride on the lake
The new entrance – The main entrance from Durgau-Valea Sarat in Turda, the second largest city in Cluj county.
Franz Josef gallery – Until the completion of the mine renewal project, the tourists’ access to the salt mine was made via the Franz Josef transport gallery, excavated between 1853-1871. It is a horizontal gallery having a length of 917 meters, that facilitated the salt transportation to the surface. It is known as the old entrance.
Iosif Mine – Salt exploitation in Iosif mine began in 1940. This cone shaped room with a depth of 112 meters, located next to the Franz Josef gallery, can be visited through the balconies carved out of salt. A strong sound reverberation occurs in this mine due to the shape of the room and the lack of major communications with other mining points, reason for being called the “Echoes Room”.
Crivac Room – As we continue our tour in the salt mine, we arrive in the hall of the “crivac”, an octagonal room that hosts a winch called “crivac”, an equipment used to extract salt from the mine. The “crivac” was installed in 1881 and is the only machine of its kind in Romania and probably Europe that is still preserved on the original site. Horses were used to operate this machine, the power of 1 or 2 horses being necessary for each arm of the “crivac”.
Ghizela Mine – Opened in 1857 Ghizela mine should have been similar to Rudolf mine, but only preliminary works were executed. The mine was designed and transformed to serve exclusively as a spa treatment room with natural aerosols.
Rudolf Mine – From the Francz Joseph mine gallery, we reach the upper part of Rudolf mine. The highlight of the visit to Turda Salt Mine is certainly the Rudolf mine (42 meters deep, 50 meters wide and 80 meters long). It is the last place where salt was exploited in Turda.
Wooden balconies provide a tremendous overview of the underground gap. To get down you have to options: go down the stairs or ride the panoramic elevator from 13th floor to the ground. Although it requires a little physical effort, we suggest you to use the stairs. You will enjoy the whole picture of Rudolf mine. It is important to know that on the walls of each floor is carved the year when the respective level was exploited.
Terezia Mine – It is the oldest work in Turda mining complex, as salt exploitation took place here between 1690 and 1880. An underground lake was set up to offer tourists a romantic boat ride at 112 m deep into the salt mountain. Water infiltration in the mine created the beautiful lake.
The Altar – You are looking for a refuge…You’ll find it in front of the altar carved from salt blocks, where you’ll feel God nearby.