Some people say that there is no time machine. Donetsk travel agencies will tell you with confidence: “It does exist!” They offer a fascinating journey along the bottom of an ancient sea. You may ask: “Where is it possible?” The answer is in the salt mines of Soledar. Just two minutes in the cage lowered to a depth of 300 meters and you are transported back to 270 million years ago. A new world will be opened before you! Here, everything is made of salt: walls, ceilings, floors, trees, and etc.
“Mertsalova Palm” is the most famous symbol of Donetsk.
Salt Mines of Soledar City: General Information
Salt mining in Soledar (former Karlo-Libknekhtovsk) began in the 19th century. It was fully determined the fate of this region and has made it to be the main source of table salt for Ukraine and other countries. Nowadays, the salt mines are being developed by Ukrainian State Enterprise “Artemsol”.
This salt deposit is truly unique! First, salt does not contain impurities. Anything that combine cuts can be packaged in bundles without making any purification and immediately sent to the store for sale. Second, salt reserves are very large and lie conveniently, so they can be developed efficiently and cheaply.
However, the company did not stop at its direct activity, namely the extraction of salt only, and activated the mine workings for health treatment and tourism. On an ongoing basis in a sanatorium (speleosanatory) at a depth of 300 meters, dozens of people suffering from respiratory diseases are treated by inhaling air saturated with salt. In addition, dozens of tourists visit the salt mine every day.
Salt Mines of Soledar City: Amazing Tour Program
As you enter the salt mine through the gateway, you find yourselves in the cage that takes you down to a depth of 280 meters under the ground at a speed of 4 m/sec. Here, the cage is stopped and the salt mine is opened before you. The guide begins an interesting tour that lasts 1.5 hour. Walking through the mine workings, you look at the huge deposits of pure salt from the inside, how people dug into it by means of combines and left a huge cave-mine working of 30 meters in height. Walking through the mine’s passages, you can find figurines and statues made of salt crystals by local craftsmen. Everything is illuminated in different colors and looks very nice, because salt crystals absorb and emit light in a special way.
In addition to the purely aesthetic pleasure, you get a positive therapeutic effect by breathing air saturated with salt. One and a half hours spent in the salt mine will substitute 15 saline inhalations that are usually prescribed in outpatient clinics. If it happens that before your walk in the salt mines of Soledar you had a runny nose or sore throat, be sure, you’ll be cured in an hour and a half at the end of the tour!
In the salt mine of Soledar, you’ll work through an underground chapel with the icons and you’ll find yourself in a huge mine workings left by mining combines after extraction of salt that now looks like a hangar for about 100 meters in length, and width and height of 40 meters.
You will be left in the main “hall” for a short time and offered to take off your shoes and try to walk barefoot in the salt (relaxing from pressure point massage and a pleasant tingling sensation). There is also an improvised football field with gates. So, you can play football, but, instead of the lawn, there is the purest salt, NaCl.
You can warm up a bit in the “cave”. There are tea, coffee, cappuccino, and sweets for sale. As well, side by side, tables to sit. In the meantime, you can watch a movie about the history of the mine and salt mining technology.
You’ll be told that the concert of symphony orchestra was conducted here and that the exhibitions of artists are held in the cave from time to time.
There is a speleosanatory in the area of the salt mine of Soledar. Here, respiratory diseases (asthma, etc.) are treated. Typically, patients go down under the ground every day for 4 hours. Some of them are left for the whole night; therefore, people are sleeping and are treated in a dream.
I’ve never been to the salt mine of Soledar, but it is in my list of places to visit. However, I visited Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland, Mammoth and Marble caves in the Crimea, Ukraine. These wonderful places are very peaceful… Subdued light and silence… It’s not like any of the impressions of a museum or in the natural scenery. They’re just extraordinary with nothing comparable! Such places will not leave anyone indifferent!
Tags: air saturated with salt, Donetsk travel agencies, extraction of salt, Karlo-Libknekhtovsk, mine workings, NaCl, salt mines of Soledar, salt mining, sanatorium, Soledar, Soledar City, speleosanatory, table salt, therapeutic effect, Ukrainian State Enterprise "Artemsol"