Slănic Mine

Mina Unirea - Slanic Prahova Salt Mine


Useful Information

Location: Slănic, Prahova County.
100 km north of Bucharest.
(45.235971, 25.941007)
Open: All year daily Mon-Fri 8, 14:30, 15:30, Sat, Sun 9, 15:30, 16:30.
Last entry 1h before closing.
[2021]
Fee: Adults (Mon-Fri) RON 33, Adults (Sat, Sun) RON 38, Children (3-) RON 25, Children (0-2) free, Students (-25) RON 25, Seniors RON 25.
[2021]
Classification: MineSalt Mine ExplainHalotherapy
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: VR=208 m, V=2.9 million m³, Ar=78,000 m², T=12 °C.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography:  
Address: Sucursala Salina Slănic Prahova, Str. Salinei, nr.1, loc. Slanic, jud. Prahova, CP 106200, Tel: +400-244-240-995, Fax: +400-244-240-997. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1685 salt discovered by Mihail Cantacuzino.
1686 first salt mining activities.
1713 Mihail Cantacuzino donates the salt mines to the Colţea Monastery in Bucharest.
1853 first balneotourism activity documented.
1912 Mina Mihai opened.
1938 Unirea salt mine opened.
1942 Mina Mihai closed.
1943 begin of production in Unirea salt mine.
1970 Unirea salt mine closed, transformed into tourist mine and halotherapy site.
1994 both levels severely damaged by groundwater, mine closed.
31-JUL-1998 site reopened to the public.
2014 elevator accident.

Geology

The salt deposit is 5-6 km long and 2-3 km wide.

Description

Slănic Mine is named after the town Slănic where it is located. The abandoned salt mine has two levels, named Unirea and Mihai. The lower level, Mina Unirea, is composed of 14 chambers with trapezoidal profiles. The chambers are 54 m high and 10 m wide at the ceiling, then widening to 32 m, the lower part of the chamber has vertical walls. The mining was started at the top, then 2.2 m thick layers were cut from the floor until a depth of 54 m was reached. The mine is 208 m and there was a mine elevator to the ground which took 90 second for this distance.

The mine was closed in 1970, and transformed into a tourist mine. One of the chambers named Genesis Hall contains a collection of sculptures by Iustin Năstase. He gave the name to the chamber and created busts of famous historic persons like Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, and Traian, the Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Other sculptures by the local artist Oana Brezeanu show Mihai Eminescu (*1850-✝1889), the Romanian Romantic poet, and Mihai Viteazul (*1558-✝1601), also called Michael the Brave, the Prince of Wallachia, Prince of Moldavia and de facto ruler of Transylvania. A part of the mine was transformed into a halotherapy treatment site. It has underground infrastructure with playgrounds for children, for adults and children who have to spend time underground for treatment. There are even sport courts like a soccer field for training.

40 m above Mina Unirea is a second mining level named Mina Mihai. Actually it is the older mine and was operated until Unirea mine became productive. It was also the first salt mine in Romania provided with electric lighting. It has six trapezoidal shaped rooms with 66 m height and 12 m ceiling width and 37 m floor width. It was not opened for the public, but since 1970 it was the location of several national and international model aircraft contests. During the events this mine is open to the public.

The mine had problems with groundwater. In 1994 groundwater which had dissolved the salt and flooded the mine, damaged both levels of the mine. The mine was closed to the public and the water inflow closed, finally the water was pumped out. The mine could be reopened on 31-JUL-1998. The original mine shaft elevator, which brought people down into the mine in 90 seconds, crashed in 2014. Fortunately it fell only from a height of 4 m, so only two of the eight tourists in the cabin were injured. After that it was not repaired but removed, coaches are now used to spiral visitors up and down. But driving coaches is not completely safe either. In 2018 there was an accident and all 22 passengers, among them 19 Israeli tourists, had to be taken to hospital.

The salt was discovered by Mihail Cantacuzino in 1685. He bought the Slănic estate because he planned to open a salt mine. In 1688, he started the first exploitation on Valea Verde, between 1689-1691 the exploitations from Baia Baciului was opened. In 1713, Mihail Cantacuzino donated both his estate from Slănic and the salt mines to the Colţea Monastery in Bucharest.