Turda, 25km southeast of Cluj.
Entrance Salina Turda: Salinelor No.54B, Turda (GPS: N=46.583742 E=23.776267)
New Entrance Salina Turda: Aleea Durgaului N0.7, Turda (GPS: N=46.588833 E=23.787632)
Tours: all year daily 9-16.
Health Treatments: all year daily 9-17.
Tours: Adults ROL 20, Children (3-16) ROL 10, Children (0-2) free, Students ROL 10, Seniors ROL 10.
Health Treatments: per day Adults ROL 15, Children (3-16) ROL 8, Children (0-2) free, Students ROL 8, Seniors ROL 8, subscription for at least seven days.
Johann Fridwaldszky (1767):
Mineralogia Magnus Principatus Transilvaniae,
|Address:||Salina Turda, Aleea Durgaului 7, Turda, Tel: +40-3642-60940, Fax: +40364-260968.|
|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.
|6th/th cty||begin of mining.|
|1075||Salt Customs first mentioned.|
|01-MAY-1271||salt mine first mentioned.|
|1552||report by the royal inspectors Paulus Bornemisza and Georgius Wernher.|
|1767||description by the mineralogist Johann Fridwaldszky published.|
|1840||begin of decline due to competition.|
|1853||revived by the construction of the Franz Jozef Gallery.|
|1910||electric light installed.|
|1948||used for cheese storage.|
|1992||opened as a show mine.|
|JAN-2008||start of modernisation.|
|JAN-2010||reopened to the public.|
The salt layers of Turda were deposited 13.6 to 13.4 million years ago during the middle Miocene. The international name of this two Ages are Serravallian and Langhian, here in Romania they are called Bandenian and Wielician. The latter is obviously named after Wieliczka, another famous salt mine. This time is known for a mass extinction and the Nördlinger Ries meteor impact, both probably connected. It is the time when the Alpine Orogeny started and huge depressions in Europe formed. Sea water was flowing in and evaporated because of semi-arid climate and restricted inflow from the sea. The salt deposits are so-called evaporites, as they are what remains when sea water evaporates.
The formation of the deposits in Transylvania is connected to the development of North-South oriented folds, a result of the Carpathian orogeny. They form the eastern and western border of the Transylvanian Plateau. There are numerous salt deposits along this fold, mostly diamond-shaped structures. The deposit of Turda on the west side of the plateau has an area of 45km² and is in average 250m thick. However, the thickness is not constant and in the axis of the fold the salt reaches a thickness of 1,200m.
Rather exceptional is the purity of the salt, which is 99.3% halide (NaCl). The impurities are mainly anhydrite (CaSO4) In various locations the thin cover of the salt has eroded and pure salt can be found on the surface.
At Turda the Salt Customs are mentioned for the first time in 1075 AD, but the mining has started much earlier. Salt was mined in small amounts in ancient times, but very little is known about the early mining history.
Later the Roman Empire conquered the area which was formerly ruled by the Dacian Kings. In this era systematic underground mining started. The salt was mined in pits and then conveyed to the surface on inclined planes at one end of the pits. When it became too deep, they simply started the next pit. The pits filled with rain water and today there are numerous salt water ponds. An underground structure of the Romans was discovered during the mining at Ghizela mine. In 1867 there was a collapse in the main gallery when such an ancient working was unexpectedly hit.
However, the first written accounts date from the 13th century, and it is documented that Turda mine was owned by the Catholic Church of Transylvania. Buildings were erected above ground, including salt stores. The royal inspectors Paulus Bornemisza and Georgius Wernher visited the mine in 1552 and wrote an report which is still existing. They describe the Large Mine and the Small Mine, both used for mining at the same time. The salt was of very high quality, very pure, so it could be used as it was without any processing.
During the late 17th century and the early 18th century, the Royal Court in Vienna tried to develop the area by intensifying the mining activities. There were numerous mines in the area, but Turda soon became the most important one. In 1767 the mineralogist Johann Fridwaldszky published the book Mineralogia Magnus Principatus Transilvaniae, in which he described the Turda mines as being worth visiting. He describes the mining techniques, where vertical shafts were used to lift the salt from the ground, which ended in huge bell shaped chambers where the salt was actually mined. Five such wells existed at this time named the upper one, the low one, Cojocnean, St. Terezia, and St. Anton. This great era of mining slowly ended around 1840, when the salt mine in Ocna Mures started to compete.
But in 1853 the slow decrease was stopped with the construction of the Franz Jozef Gallery, an 916.65m long tunnel built to easily transport the salt to the surface. The St. Terezia Well was modernised by adding two side chambers, called Ghizela and Rudolf. The new chambers were rectangular with an trapezoid profile, parallel and between 10m and 12m wide and 17m to 34m high. The mining at Turda still used the old technique which is called room and pillar. The miners respected the stability of the salt and left some salt between the chambers to form a huge pillar which supports the cap rock. The parallel chambers are so long, they appear more like a huge passage.
The tourist mine showed the shaft of the Iosif Mine, which was used as a Contemporary Art Museum. Then the huge bell shaped Iosif Mine. Through the Octogonal Room the shaft of the Rudolf Mine is reached. Then the next bell shaped chamber of Terezia Mine, the Rudolf Mine and finally stationary room and the digger's room (their translation actually, we guess they meant miner) of Ghizela Mine. The mine was left at the far end through another tunnel leading to the Salt Valley.
In 2009 the mine was closed for renovation. Architect Dumitru Iosif was rebuilding and modernising the underground mine and spa. The project was funded with 4.8 million € from the European Community and 1 million € from the city of Turda and the Cluj County Council. The Rudolf Salt Mine was transformed into an 80-seat amphitheatre for concerts, a mini-golf field and a multi-sport field, all underground. It is accessible with a modern elevator from the surface. The mine is now accessed through a new entrance in Aleea Durgaului street.
The new mine tour shows the Sanctuary first, where St. Barbara was cut out of Salt in a niche. Over the Staircase of Rich People the Rudolf Mine, the Terezia Mine, and finally the Anton Mine are reached. The mine is left through the Gizela Mine. Here is also the spa treatment area.