On October 7th, together with Romanian architect Adina Molden, I descended into the depths of the Earth to see the subterranean spectacle Salina Turda. 13 million years in the making, the salt mine, which is located on the outskirts of the Transylvanian city of Turda, is one of the world's most extra-ordinary human/natural architectural hybrids.
Believed to date from the Dacian period, and first documented in 1271, its geological treasure, salt, filled the coffers of Hungarian royalty. In the thirteenth century salt was worth more than gold, and salt boulders were used to reward the loyalty of Teutonic knights.
"There is talk that this pit is so famous, that it is hardly matched in the entire Orient" Johann Fridwaldszky, Magni Principatus Transilvanie Mineralogy
In World War II, by which time mining operations had ceased, Salina Turda provided locals with shelter from bombing raids. Today, the mine is ranked one of the world's top twenty underground sites to visit. Its every view like a spread from Architectural Digest, or a James Bond film, the subterranean wonder brings the best in human imagination and engineering together. But, what infuses Salina Turda with magic, as well as salt, is baring witness to the sheer beauty of its ancient, yet ever evolving geological formations.
Inspirational in spades, Salina Turda is a profoundly special place, which I much hope to visit once more in the not distant future. If ever you have the opportunity, I much recommend you take a trip to Romania to visit the mine for yourself!
See footage of Salina Turda at the link below:
Melissa Sterry, design scientist, systems theorist, futurologist, cross disciplinary designer developing Bionic City® & PhD Researcher.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
© Melissa Sterry 2016 All Rights Reserved