Salt Mines of Turda (Salina Turda)

Salt Mines of Turda

Location: Turda, Transylvania Map

Used: 1075- 1932

Entrance Fee: 15 lei

Children: 8 lei

Open: 9am- 3pm


Description of Salt Mines of Turda

Salt Mines of Turda are situated in the city of Turda, Transylvania region of Romania.  The first time Salt Mines of Turda was mentioned as a quarry for salt dates back to 1075. However the first people to extract salt here were Romans who conquered Dacia in the 2nd century AD. Salt deposits left here by the dried up sea reached surface in certain places. Roman soldiers would come here and dig the salt with shovels.  Eventually people dug deeper and deeper. It became a mine in a Medieval time a served as a source of sea salt for several centuries and it was finally closed in 1932. The temperature inside underground passage ways is about 10–12 °C (50–54 °F) throughout a year. Its humidity is about 75- 80% and remains constant through the year. Today it is open to the public as a museum of salt industry. It was open to the public in 1992 and today thousands of tourists visit this majestic and interesting place. Occasionally it houses music concerts in the large central hall of the artificial cave system.


A visit to this salt mine is like a trip to a completely different world. Journalists at the prestigious Business Insider site consider it the most beautiful underground attraction. In addition, this mine was included in the list of 25 unusual sights on Earth, the existence of which tourists were not aware of, "although salt mining has been going on here since time immemorial. This salt palace makes a truly lasting impression.

Archaeological excavations indicate that the extraction of salt in this area was carried out even before the arrival of the Romans. And the Romans conducted salt development only on the surface, they dug holes, most often up to 15 meters deep, mined salt from it, left the hole and went on to the next. Thus, salt lakes were formed. The Roman Castrum of Potais appears to protect salt mining in Turda. After the Romans left Dacia and until the eleventh century, there is no information on the development of salt in this area. And salt production in the sense in which this concept is defined in our time begins in the XI-XIII centuries.

The first document on Transylvania, in which the mentioned Turda salt mine, issued by the Hungarian Royal Chancery in 1075. And the first document on the salt mine in Turda was published on May 1, 1271 also by the Hungarian Royal Chancery. By this act, the king appointed himself the owner of the Transylvanian Salt Mine in Turda. Subsequently, privileges to use the salt mine were also granted to the mayor of the city of Esztergom and the bishop of Alba-Julia and Transylvania. In the Middle Ages, salt mining was as important and profitable as today, probably, there is oil and gas activity. And Romanian salt has always been of high quality. Most of the workers in the salt mines were prisoners.

The importance of the mine grew greatly during the time of the Habsburg Empire, when important work was done to successfully mine salt and expand the mine. The mine was originally one of the most important in Transylvania, and began to reduce production after 1840 due to the constant increase in competition from the salt mine in Ocna Mures. Until 1862, only three of the old adits of Joseph, Libra, and Anthony were mined agriculturally. At the same time, salt production in the Anthony adit at a depth of 108 meters was stopped due to the high clay infiltration at the field. In addition, the transportation of salt from mines to warehouses in New Turde was a big problem. In order to reduce transportation costs and time, in 1853 a decision was made to build a transport gallery, which was supposed to start from New Turde, it was named in honor of Emperor Franz Joseph.

Salt production in the Turda salt mine ceased in 1932, due to low quality equipment and strong competition from other Transylvanian mines. In 2011, Romania ranked 12th in the world in salt production; production amounted to 2,500,000 tons. Turda Salt Mine was re-opened in 1992 for tourist visits, as well as a health center.

With the help of European funds in 2009, work was completed on the construction of the Turda salt mine. Currently, there are treatment rooms, an amphitheater, sports halls (table tennis, bowling, mini golf, billiards), a Ferris wheel from which you can admire the salt stalactites. But the main interesting mine is an underground lake, where you can even swim in boats. The air temperature in the mine is 11-12 degrees, and the humidity in different rooms is 73-80%