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Underground wonder park

Photo of the entrance to Salina Turda, a small, shell-shaped building with elaborate glass panels and surrounded by a railing

Photo by Ana Maria Catalina (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The building, standing alone in Transylvania, looks unassuming. It’s a little artsy building which could be a museum or a gallery. Indeed, there is art inside. Then, you step into the elevator and descend into an amazing site, an underground amusement park.

This is Salina Turda, a medieval salt mine that was in operation as early as 1075. It ceased mining operations in 1932.

In 1992, people began using the mine as halotherapy center, attracting tourists. The salt atmosphere is considered healthful and the air in the mine may be some of the purest on the planet due to the many layers of natural filtration.

Beginning in 2008, the Romanians undertook a massive renovation project, transforming Salina Turda into a wonderland. The park features table games, boats to paddle around an underground lake, a Ferris wheel, an amphitheater, and more, engulfed in the surreal, subterranean atmosphere of the gigantic caverns. It’s not exactly Six Flags. It’s not built for thrills, but I can’t imagine anyone coming down here without getting goosebumps.

This video shows the architecture and many of the sites. There is a wonderful gallery of photos on their web site and any image search will turn up beautiful, haunting pictures.

Here are additional photos:

Salina Turda tunel de acces 4

Entrance tunnel Photo by Cristian Bortes from Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Salina – Turda) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Salina Turda - sala principala

The main hall with salt stalactites on the left side By Strainu [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons

Salina Turda 045

Rudolf hall is 80 m (260 ft) long, 50 m (160 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) high. Photo by Cosmin Danila [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons

Salina Turda 007

The Crivac hoisted salt to the surface. Photo by Cosmin Danila [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons

Salina Turda Img 4166

View of the underground lake and UFO-shaped constructions Photo by Adymark [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons

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