Home Posts Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda) – Romania

Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda) – Romania

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Visiting a salt mine in Romania was one of our goals while we were organizing our trip to this country. Some friends had said that they have been to such a mine and enjoyed it very much. A quick search online showed that there are 3 major salt mines in Romania open for tourists – in Turda, Slanic Prahova and Praid. Slanic Prahova appeared closest to our itinerary so we decided to go there on our way back from Sibiu to Bulgaria.

But we are not huge fans of the strict schedule and we often change our plans on the way. So we didn’t go to Slanic at all. Instead, we read some Bulgarian and foreign travel blogs looking for information about the salt mines. All of them were leading to one place – Turda. They said it was amazing, unbelievable, stunning, worth traveling hundreds and thousands of kilometers to visit it. So although we had to travel 150 more km in one direction, we decided to go to Turda.

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That day was rainy and an underground attraction sounded a good way to spend our time. So after 2-hour drive from Sibiu we arrived in the city of Turda. The city itself is not something special. It used to be an industrial city with people working mostly in the salt mine when it was still functioning. Nowadays I’m not sure what they do for living because the mine is only a tourist attraction.

Salina Turda

The mine itself is located outside the city but it is easy to find because there are many signs. When you reach it you start feeling like in a big European mall. There is a huge parking and even bigger glass building, full of people. Entrance to the parking is paid – 5 lei (1,2 EUR).

When you enter the building you cannot miss the cash desk and the entrance to the mine. Admission fee is 25 lei (although the mine’s website said it is 20 lei). It is not too expensive but compared to other entrance fees we paid in Romania it looks a lot. Anyway, this place was supposed to be very special so without hesitation we paid and started our trip downstairs.

The stairs took us to a long tunnel – the Franz Josef Gallery. It is almost 1 km long and was built to make the transport of the salt easier. From this tunnel you enter the other galleries. Both ends of the tunnel lead outside the mine so don’t be too curious to explore where it leads! We already tried this and we had to walk all the way back to enter the mine itself.

Salina Turda

From the tunnel we entered the Extraction Shaft room and the Crivac room. The first one hosts a mining shaft through which the salt from the Rudolf Mine was transported vertically. The pulley tower shaft was mounted in 1864.The pulleys have a diameter of 3 m and are functioning even today. The Crivac room is an octagonal room that hosts a winch called “crivac” or “gepel”. The “Crivac” was exploited by horse power and served for the vertical transport of the salt from the Rudolf mine. On the crivac is marked the date that it was built in-1881. This machine replaced another, smaller size crivac, what was installed in 1864.

Following the crowds we found ourselves in front of a narrow staircase, full of people. That was the entrance to the Rudolf Mine which is supposed to be the main attraction in this place. It is really a huge gallery, 80 m long, 50 m wide and 42 m high. In its upper part there are balconies with a stunning view to the gallery (except for people who are afraid of heights). We enjoyed it and it was the last thing in the mine we were impressed of.

Salina Turda

Getting down was supposed to be the most interesting part of the trip for most visitors. But not for us. When we started descending we had to cope with the Balkan way of making tourism. There is only one lift in the mine, suitable for 8 people at a time. The alternative way of getting down is via narrow stairs, 13 floors. As you may guess this way is totally impossible for people with sick legs, old people, pregnant women, mothers with baby strollers. So all the visitors mentioned above and a group of completely healthy but lazy tourists had formed a long queue for the only lift. We managed to get in on the third or 4th ride. The queue for getting upstairs was far worse and one had to wait 20-30 min to take the lift.

Salina Turda

So for the Rudolf Mine – it is really huge. But from the balcony it looked more impressive. Downstairs it is almost like in a mall – there is something like a café with tables and benches, tennis tables, some other games, a Ferris wheel and even wi-fi. Unfortunately there was nothing to tell us about the old times when this huge hole was a functioning mine.

Salina Turda Salina Turda

13 more floors down is another gallery – Terezia Mine. It is 120 m deep and at the bottom there is an underground lake. Unfortunately the access to this part is even harder because the only lift wasn’t working. So the narrow staircase was terribly crowded. Anyway we gave it a chance only to become more disappointed. Downstairs there’s only the lake with an artificial island and boats for rent.

Salina Turda

Salina Turda Salina Turda Salina Turda

When I checked the website of the mine after our visit I found out that we missed 1 or 2 smaller galleries. But the crowds and the difficult access only made us want to go out as soon as possible.

Salina TurdaSalina Turda

Now the verdict – it was not our type of a tourist attraction. What blogs and tourist guides say is true – the galleries are impressive with their scale. But visiting a mine we wanted to see and learn something about salt mining, so Ferris wheel and boats don’t fit very well. And we also don’t like spending most of the time inside queueing for the lift or for the stairs.

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