miercuri, 8 ianuarie 2014

Romania off the beaten path: the salt mines

I am not a geologist, but I can tell you for sure: a few ten thousands of years ago on the today territory proudly called Romania nowadays it was nothing but water. Endless sea, and very salty. I can prove this affirmation through the huge salt reserves of Romania.

Nearer to our days, these  salt reserves have been exploited for thousand of years, starting with the antique times and even before. In the antique time the salt was a favorite changing item with the Greeks which came and build the colony of Tomis (today Constanta). The Dacians,  forefathers of the today Romanians, used also to export grains and wines, taking in change from the Greeks olives and olives oil. The salt as also the gold and  other richness of Dacia draw unfortunately the attention of the almighty neighboring Roman Empire.
The amazing salt church from the Cacica mine

After the Roman conquer and colonization, as documented on the Traian's Column from center of Rome, the salt kept and even increased its important role in the local economy. On those times, and during all the Medium Age, the salt mines and their  administrating settlements received lots of privileges and other advantages. The salt in that period of mankind was simply vital, as it could be used for conserving the food, and Romania as former sea bottom had unending reserves.

Winning the salt kept its importance up today, but a few of the former renowned salt mines have been closed due to unsatisfactory economic results. But the huge galleries showing the hard labour and toil are still there. In many of these mines the salt has been collected by the convicted prisoners and the Romanian language is full of references on those times, the hard labour and the prisoners.
The former salt mine from Turda is today the most important attraction of the town
Nowadays you can visit a few of these mines, which have been prepared for tourist like you. Don't fear anymore please the hard labour, but in some areas you must be very careful if you are claustrophobic. Broadly and generally speaking the air from a salt mine is perfect for curing any lungs diseases. You can visit the salt mines from Turda, Cacica, Praid , Slanic Prahova, Slanic Moldova and  a few more (these are the most important).
Spending an excellent time in a former salt mine (here Slanic Prahova)http://romania-tours.blogspot.ro/2014/01/romania-off-beaten-path.htmlhttp://romania-tours.blogspot.ro/2014/01/romania-off-beaten-path.html

There are a few reasons for doing that. Some of the visitors might be simply curious; other can try to cure their lungs diseases through week long treatments. In Cacica and Slanic Moldova you can find amazing salt churches. In all these former salt mines you have good entertainment possibilities, and you can stay for hours brething the purest air possible while playing ping pong, tennis etc. In Praid is possible to organize unique and totally exotic wine tastings, while in Turda you can find maybe the most romantic thing in a former salt mine: hire a boat on the dark lake, is simply breathtaking! Maybe the most romantic way to make a declaration or even a proposal.

In all these former salt mines you must pay to enter, and in some of then the interesting places are very remote to the entrance, the ticket contains even this kilometer long journey by bus (at the moment 20 RON, equivalent to almost 5 Euros).

I am sure you won't be disappointed in none of these former salt mines open for visits today. You will get some knowledge about the technology of salt winning and exploitation, or buy something, but you are going to spend anyway a wonderful time there. There is no chance to get boring in these salt mines, they are interesting and exciting in the same time.

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