The Salt Road Tour

Salt, an essential mineral element for human life, was exploited since ancient times with different purposes, like the first most important one, the physiological one, needed for a perfect functioning of any living organism, or as an additive to our own food diet, as a supplement to domestic animals’ diet, as a very good preservative for meat, bacon, cheese, vegetables, fruits, animal skin, as a wound disinfectant or as a health remedy against different diseases like rheumatic ones, respiratory failure, stomach disorders, some dermatological and gynecological problems and so on and so forth. All these applications turned it into one of the most important consuming and trading products since ancient times till nowadays.
Transylvania, having one of the most important salt deposits in Europe, represented over time the main source of supply for adjacent regions, where there was a total lack of resources, like the Tisza Plain, the south Danube area and the Balkans. This situation turned Transylvania into the most important and available source of salt the entire transit being made through the so called “roads of salt”.
Praid (Parajd) Salt Mine
Due to the extensive salt mining there have been left large underground halls, where a unique salt-mine microclimate has been created, with relatively constant temperatures, between 14 and 16 Celsius degrees, low humidity (66-70%) and bigger pressure than on the surface (735-738 mmHg on average).
The air is highly ionized, very effective in what the respiratory diseases treatment is concerned. Underground sanatoriums have been created here. The underground treatment was firstly held in the early 60es. In 1980, the treatment base was moved to the “50 horizon”, which lies at 120m underground, its width is of 20m, height 14m and length a few hundreds of meters. On a 1250m distance from the entrance ant to the treatment base, the visitors are transported by the salt-mine buses.
During the summer season, the visitors of the mine outnumber 2500-3000 daily, i.e. approximately 230000 persons during the months of June, July and August.
The salt-mine provides the following attractions: underground halls with electricity supply, playgrounds for children, buffet, billiard-tables and an ecumenical chapel, all specially created for your relaxation.
Sovata (Szováta) Salt Lake
Sovata is a resort for all seasons, recognized at European level since 1850. Lakes with chlorinated water and sodium – and sludge of them – have therapeutic properties for many disorders, particularly gynecological diseases. Surrounded by wooded hills, beech, oak, elm, chestnut trees and oaks, and the Salt Mountain, the resort offers excellent opportunities for rest and relaxation. The climate is subalpine, with cool summers and mild winters.
In Sovata there are six salt lakes, two lakes having freshwater and a saline lake turned into swamp (Lacul Şerpilor). Salt lakes of Sovata are of karst type formed by salty sinkholes in small or large depressions, but their formation is connected to the salt mining in the past. There is remarkable Bear Lake, Black Lake, Lake Aluniş, Blackbird Lake, Green Lake and Red Lake as brackish water lakes and Lake Sweet and Lake Paraskeva as freshwater lakes.
Of all, the worthiest is Bear Lake, Sovata resort treasure, unique in Europe. On May 27, 1875 there was a cloudburst, forming a hole on the bottom of which the hay brought by water deposited and produced a dead end. Water has accumulated and has made lake. Thus we can say that the lake appeared both by landslide and by sealing. The name was given by locals who have seen the shape resembled a large bearskin.

Photos: courtesy of Octav Druta and Kántor Lajos.

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The Salt Road Tour

Salt, an essential mineral element for human life, was exploited since ancient times with different purposes, like the first most important one, the physiological one, needed for a perfect functioning of any living organism, or as an additive to our own food diet, as a supplement to domestic animals’ diet, as a very good preservative for meat, bacon, cheese, vegetables, fruits, animal skin, as a wound disinfectant or as a health remedy against different diseases like rheumatic ones, respiratory failure, stomach disorders, some dermatological and gynecological problems and so on and so forth. All these applications turned it into one of the most important consuming and trading products since ancient times till nowadays.
Transylvania, having one of the most important salt deposits in Europe, represented over time the main source of supply for adjacent regions, where there was a total lack of resources, like the Tisza Plain, the south Danube area and the Balkans. This situation turned Transylvania into the most important and available source of salt the entire transit being made through the so called “roads of salt”.
Praid (Parajd) Salt Mine
Due to the extensive salt mining there have been left large underground halls, where a unique salt-mine microclimate has been created, with relatively constant temperatures, between 14 and 16 Celsius degrees, low humidity (66-70%) and bigger pressure than on the surface (735-738 mmHg on average).
The air is highly ionized, very effective in what the respiratory diseases treatment is concerned. Underground sanatoriums have been created here. The underground treatment was firstly held in the early 60es. In 1980, the treatment base was moved to the “50 horizon”, which lies at 120m underground, its width is of 20m, height 14m and length a few hundreds of meters. On a 1250m distance from the entrance ant to the treatment base, the visitors are transported by the salt-mine buses.
During the summer season, the visitors of the mine outnumber 2500-3000 daily, i.e. approximately 230000 persons during the months of June, July and August.
The salt-mine provides the following attractions: underground halls with electricity supply, playgrounds for children, buffet, billiard-tables and an ecumenical chapel, all specially created for your relaxation.
Sovata (Szováta) Salt Lake
Sovata is a resort for all seasons, recognized at European level since 1850. Lakes with chlorinated water and sodium – and sludge of them – have therapeutic properties for many disorders, particularly gynecological diseases. Surrounded by wooded hills, beech, oak, elm, chestnut trees and oaks, and the Salt Mountain, the resort offers excellent opportunities for rest and relaxation. The climate is subalpine, with cool summers and mild winters.
In Sovata there are six salt lakes, two lakes having freshwater and a saline lake turned into swamp (Lacul Şerpilor). Salt lakes of Sovata are of karst type formed by salty sinkholes in small or large depressions, but their formation is connected to the salt mining in the past. There is remarkable Bear Lake, Black Lake, Lake Aluniş, Blackbird Lake, Green Lake and Red Lake as brackish water lakes and Lake Sweet and Lake Paraskeva as freshwater lakes.
Of all, the worthiest is Bear Lake, Sovata resort treasure, unique in Europe. On May 27, 1875 there was a cloudburst, forming a hole on the bottom of which the hay brought by water deposited and produced a dead end. Water has accumulated and has made lake. Thus we can say that the lake appeared both by landslide and by sealing. The name was given by locals who have seen the shape resembled a large bearskin.

Photos: courtesy of Octav Druta and Kántor Lajos.

back