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.
Here are additional photos:
Entrance tunnel Photo by Cristian Bortes from Cluj-Napoca, Romania (Salina – Turda) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The main hall with salt stalactites on the left side By Strainu [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons
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
The Crivac hoisted salt to the surface. Photo by Cosmin Danila [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons
View of the underground lake and UFO-shaped constructions Photo by Adymark [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro], via Wikimedia Commons