Soledar town, Artyomovskiy rayon, Donetsk oblast.
16 km north-east from Artyomovsk.
All year Wed-Sun 10-15.
Speleotherapy all year daily.
Adults UAH 25.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=200,000 m, T=14 °C.|
|Address:||Soledar Salt Mine, SE Artyomsol, 1A Chkalov St., Donetsk region, 84545, Ukraine, Tel: +380-627-44-2001, Fax: +380-627-44-2511, 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.
|1880||salt discovered near the town Bryantsevka.|
|1881||first salt mine opened.|
|1939-1945||mines destroyed during the war.|
|1947||first mine reopened.|
|1959||mine build own briquetting facility.|
|2003||first underground balloon start in chamber 41.|
|2022||closed due to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.|
The salt deposits at Soledar are of Permian origin, some 250 millions years old. They were created by the evaporation of sea water in in a shallow basin with temporary connection to the sea under arid climate. The salt is said to be the purest salt deposit in the world and the biggest one in Europe.
The salt, located close to the surface, was dissolved by the ground water which created numerous brine springs. When the underground salt was discovered, the mining took place some 300 m below the surface.
The salt mine at Soledar has recently become a tourist mine, as it shows ornate passageways. Numerous sculptures and reliefs in the walls have been carved out or the massive salt. There is even an underground church for the miners. There is a cafe, a huge soccer arena, and one of the halls is regularly used for underground concerts.
The site is also used for speleotherapy, so there is a sanitarium called "Salt Symphony". Like other halotherapy sites it is especially useful for the cure of respiratory diseases, allergies, and skin diseases. The full list is bronchial asthma, asthmatoid bronchitis, obstructive bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, rhinoallergosis, atopic dermatitis, some forms of psoriasis, weak immunity, thyroid diseases. The air is cool and dry and contains small amounts of salt dust, which influences the respiratory system.
The name Соледар (Soledar = gift of salt) is rather young. The town was named Karlo-Libknekhtivsk after Karl Liebknecht, the German socialist, when it was created in 1965 during Soviet times. It was renamed Soledar in 1991 after the Ukraine became independent. The salt is mined by Artymosol, a state enterprise, and after 1991 they partnered with the German gypsum producer Knauf.
The area was long known for brine springs, caused by the solution of underground salt deposits by ground water. This brine was used to produce salt since the 16th century. The brine was cooked in pans with wood fires, to evaporate the water. This process was extremely energy hungry, and resulted in the deforestation of the Donbass and neighboring areas. The coal of the Donbass, which was discovered 300 years ago, became the alternative energy source during the 18th century. It was mainly used locally for the production of salt, later also for metallurgy.
The salt deposits, although predicted by theory, were unknown until 1880. The prominent Russian geologist and scholar A. Karpinskiy made a scientific research of the area between 1876 and 1880. He discovered the salt in a drill hole carried out by mining engineer P. Ivanov. The government funded drill hole is today known as Government Drill-hole. It revealed nine different layers of salt. The thickest one is called Bryantsevskiy and is approximately 40 meters thick.
Some sources tell, this site was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Unfortunately the UNESCO does not know about this so far. We guess the writer was overwhelmed and mixed this mine up with the Wieliczka mine in Poland, which actually is on the list.
The tourist mine and the salt mining were closed in 2022 due to the war with Russia. The salt mine was used by the Ukranian army to store weapons safely. That's a reason why the Russian army currently [JAN-2023] fights very hard to occupy the city and use the mine themselves. This could be of enormous strategic importance for the war.