salina turda salt mines turned subterranean history museum
original content
dec 01, 2013
salina turda salt mines turned subterranean history museum


‘salina turda salt mines’ turda, romania
image © nexttriptourism

 

 

 

what was once an enormous salt mine in turda, romania, has now been carefully renovated by the regional cluj county council into the world’s largest salt mining history museum. the salina turda salt mines were excavated in the 17th century, proving a crucial source for salt that brought the romans much wealth. today, the durgau lakes at the mine’s surface – responsible for much of the salt deposits in the area – are popular tourist attractions that guarantee a steady flow of visitors all year around. a trip down the vertical shafts that once transported thousands of tons of salt will slowly reveal the immense scale of the excavated earth, made blatantly clear upon reaching the very bottom of the mine which is covered in a sand-like layer of salt. almost borrowing a certain aesthetic from the deep sea, the bottom of the mine features almost alien structures made of timber members and illuminated with suspended tube lights. the interior maintains a steady 11-12 degrees celsius and 80 percent humidity, completely devoid of any allergens and an almost absence of any bacteria, making the unique micro-climate a destination for those suffering from allergic respiratory diseases.

 

 


terezia mine at 120 meters deep
image © nexttriptourism

 

 

 

the ground floor contains a series of recreational attractions made from restored equipment or with the same design expression. an amphitheater, sports arena, ferris wheel, mini golf course, and bowling lanes, amongst others, allow visitors to experience different aspects of the mine. boats may also be rented to tour the underground lake at the lowest point of the cavernous void. the museum actually includes three mines: the terezia mine reaches the deepest at 120 meters followed by the anton mine at 108 meters and the rudolf mine at 42 meters, supported by various rooms and smaller chambers used during its operational days. from each of these pits it is possible to see the hundreds of fluid layers of rock that have formed over incredibly long time spans, exposing their often times intricate formations and patterns. each of the structures are retrofitted into their various sites, responding to the subterranean topography carved out by hundreds of years of painstaking labor. circulation is dictated by naturally habitable paths that have preserved over the years. each small construct contains typically three elements: wood, metal, and artificial light. these materials create light skeletons that invoke the expression of the machinery once used and become points of interest without being visually impairing.

 

 


walkthrough
video © binecuvantare.ro

 

 


image © nexttriptourism

 

 


first chamber before going into the tereza mine still meters below
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


view from the underground lake surface
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


various wooden-bodied attractions with tube lighting
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


rudolf mine
image © salinaturda

 

 


image © nexttriptourism

 

 


view from the ground level of the deepest mine
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


the ‘big wheel’ ferris wheel makes one revolution in 8 minutes
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


elevated walkways over the amphitheater and sports arena.
the thousands of lines along the walls reveal each drill mark made by a laborer
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


image © nexttriptourism

 

 


image © nexttriptourism

 

 


stationary room
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


elevator shaft
image © nexttriptourism

 

 


image © nexttriptourism

 

 


(left) historical drawing of the site by j. von fichtel, 1780
(right) present day aerial view of the durgau lakes and the mine entrance

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