Salina Ocnele Mari


Useful Information

Location: Ocnele Mari, 8 km from Râmnicu Vâlcea.
(45.085091, 24.309467)
Open: JUN Mon-Fri 10-16, Sat, Sun 9-17.
JUL to AUG daily 9-17.
Last entry 1h before closing.
[2021]
Fee: Adults RON 30, Children (3-16) RON 22, Children (0-2) free, Students (-25) RON 22, Seniors RON 22.
Groups (20+): Adults RON 25, Children (3-16) RON 20, Students (-25) RON 20, Seniors RON 20.
[2021]
Classification: MineSalt Mine ExplainHalotherapy
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=13-15º C, H=50%, A=226 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided, L=1300 m, Ar=20.000 m², VR=29 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Sector Salina Ocnele Mari, Str. Pinilor, nr. 27 bis, loc. Ocnele Mari, jud. Valcea, CP 240175, Tel: +400-250-733-402, Fax: +400-250-734-844. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1806 Roman Catholic chapel of St. Varvara built.
1937 mina „Pavel” opened.
1963 mina „Pavel” closed.
1993 Ocnele Mari mine opened.
2009 opened as a show mine.

Geology


Description

The Salina Ocnele Mari (Ocnele Mari Salt Mine) is named after the village where it is located. The abandoned salt mine is hosting sports like volleyball and soccer, contains an underground church and a wine cellar. There are volleyball courts, basketball, football, tennis, billiards, and minicarting. For children there are playgrounds with slides and swings. There is also an underground restaurant with wine cellar and event room. Visitors are transported by minibus from the surface to the inside of the salt mine. The bus ride starts every 30 minutes and takes about 10 minutes. There is no mine tour, it is actually a sort of underground city and the tickets are valid for the whole day.

There is an underground church, the "St. Varvara" Orthodox Church. It is located 21 m deep at the end of a staircase with 192 steps. The church was built in 1806 at the initiative of the Polish priest Jakub Bogdanowicz. It provided the Roman Catholic miners a place to pray before and after work.

The mining of the Ocnele Mari salt began in the Neolithic. There is also archaeological evidence for mining during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. In the Middle Ages salt mining became a royal monopoly and was an important source of income for the king. Several of those early mines were finally flooded by groundwater and collapsed. Several lakes in the area like Din Brazi and Balta Roşie formed like this and contain salt water. But in the mid 19th century the systematic exploitation of the deposit began. In 1836 the Mina „Sf. Ioan Vechi” was started. The salt was mined in bell shaped chambers with two shafts called Saint John the Old and Saint Nicholas until 1895. Again mines collapsed forming brine lakes, but then in 1937 the mina „Pavel” was opened. After World War II it was renamed Mina ”1 Mai” and operated successful until 1963.

The new salt mine Ocnele Mari at Coceneşti point was opened in 1993. It works on two levels, at 210 m asl and 226 m asl. When the upper level was exhausted mining stopped, it was transformed into a show mine, and opened to the public in 2009. In the lower level salt is still mined.