In one's kitchen, there is something you would most probably find, and this is the salt. Personally, I couldn’t eat food without salt. Nowadays, you just go to the store and buy some, but until the Industrial Revolution (transition from the hand production method to the machines) it was almost a rarity. Romania is a country rich in salt, and Turda and Praid are two of the most important salt mines here.
In Ancient Rome, the salt on a table was a mark of a rich patron. China was one of the first civilizations that traded the salt. It was mainly extracted from the sea. Mining of salt was one of the most expensive and dangerous operations, done mostly by the slaves. The miners suffered rapid dehydration caused by the contact with the salt as they inhaled a high amount of sodium. Today one could go to the salt mine for the astonishing view and for treating diverse lung diseases.
There is a place where one could come for treatment, and it is called Praid. The Praid mine is documented since 1200, and the intensive exploitation started in 1700. The Praid Salt Mine has four tunnels. The Parallel Mine is one of the largest artificial underground cavities having about 100 meters of length. The first level, built for tourists is equipped with the lighting, children's playgrounds, a restaurant, a buffet, billiard tables, sports grounds, benches for rest and an ecumenical chapel. The mine rooms have an average of 20 meters in width and 12 in height. The deepest horizon is 320 m, but it is recommended to stay at the depth of 120 meters. You could also visit this mine for the fascinating view it has to offer.
Dacia, the ancestor of Romania, was conquered by the Roman Empire in the year 106. The Romans built many camps, and, no wonder, one of the best-preserved camps is at Turda. Potaissa, as the city was called, was also the place of The Fifth Macedonica Legion, and one reason for choosing this campsite was the salt. The Romans exploited the salt from Turda, and archeological evidences show that the mining was done mostly on the surface. During the Austro-Hungarian domination, the mine was further exploited. In 1932, the mine was closed, and during the Second World War, it has been used as an anti-aircraft shelter. In 1992, the salt mine was reopened as a touristic attraction.
A new area started afer the last renovation took place between 2005 and 2010. Amazing light installations and a museum of the salt exploitation await all tourist. One of the mines, the Rudolf mine has a depth of 42 meters. It is the last place where the salt was exploited at Turda. There are 13 floors down that can be climbed by the panoramic lift, which offers an overview of the entire mine. The Terezia mine has a subterranean lake. This underground lagoon is between 0.5 and 8 meters deep and extended to approximately 80% of the operating room's area. What can be cooler than a boat ride in the salt mine? You could opt for other activities as well as. There are plenty of things to do here and get healed at the same time.
The salt of a Romanian kitchen may come from either Praid or Turda - our two salt mines.
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