Salt has been known to be a valuable commodity that people used to kill for in the past. In those days only rich people would have salt on their table, as it used to be very expensive because it was brought from far away. Besides cuisine, salt is used in in medicine, cosmetics and much more.
In Romania there are many salt mines. Some of them are still active, some are closed for mining but used as treatment centers and museums.Turda Salt Mine is the most famous one.
It is placed in Turda city, not far from Cluj-Napoca, in the north-east of Romania.
This mine is very old. The digging was started by the Romans. Since the 13th century till 1932 the mine was active. Between 1932 and 1992 it was closed, and when it was reopened to the public for visits and for medical purposes: the air in the salt mines is recognized as being the best remedy for those with respiratory problems. In 2010 it was re-opened, after an extensive modernization – it cost around 5.800.000 Euro and it took 2 years to complete.
After we visited Corund village, we drove for about 1 hour to Turda to see this hidden wonder. The city itself is not special. It used to be an industrial area where people were working mostly in the salt mines. As all mines, it does not look very touristic on the outside, but after buying the tickets and descending the stairs deep into the mine, you will enter another world.
We kept meandering through a set of caved hallways, climbed and descended steep stairs, till one moment when we arrived in front of a huge balcony. Right beneath us, we could see the first hall. The Rudolf Mine: 112 meters deep and hundreds of years old. On the way down we took the elevator, but if you feel in shape you can descend all 13 floors using the stairs. It will be great exercise.
Next to the Rudolf Mine there is the most impressing part of the Salt Mine: The Terezia Mine which is a huge cone shaped hall with an underground lake. It is full of interesting wooden structures, neon lights in different shapes and little boats floating on the black water lake.
The mine has several parts that have different purposes like an 80-seat amphitheater for concerts and musical auditions, a golf course, an underground lake with boats for hire, a treatment center and medical office, a church, a sports field (bowling, soccer, table tennis). We did not do anything from the above because we only wanted to walk around, breathe clean air and take pictures. The entire place is not only different from everything you have seen before, but it is also good for your health. The air is perfect for the lungs and there are treatments done here for a array of affections from lungs to ears, throat and detox for the people who work in toxic environments ( including those who smoke). It also gives visitors a chance to see the inside one of the world’s oldest salt mines.
It’s certainly unique.
Inside it is quite cold, so I recommend that you wear warm clothes. Otherwise, the feeling is very pleasant and it’s worth spending a few hours in the deep of the earth.
Try to visit on a weekday. On weekends it is very crowded.
Bring something to drink, because you can wonder around for hours.
By the entrance there is a small café with some snacks and Wi-Fi.
You can find more information on their site: http://salinaturda.eu
The area is actually an entire complex.
Close by, there also a salty lake, named Durgau Lake, which offers you a wonderful place to relax. There is a sunbathing area, with sand, wooden pontoons, showers and a bar terrace. This lake has a long history. In 1840 Dr. Joseph Hanko modernized the Roman lake and built a resort that has been used for bathing and empirical therapy since the nineteenth century.
Mineralized water chlorine was used to treat rheumatic diseases, peripheral circulation and gynecological disorders.
His lake had to offer the minimum comfort but if you are looking for comfort and wellness spa condition, you can find it in “POTAISA” Spa and Wellness Center, which is also a part of the group. The spa offers large spa services including Fitness, Facial Treatments and a Medical Center.