We are entering a subterranean world that seems out of a crepuscular sci-fi movie. But descending the stairs that led you to the base of the immense cave carved in salt, you will soon forget about Blade Runner, once you hear the echo of people talking out loud form the top of a fun fair big wheel.
This vast space has been transformed into an underground theme park; You can play from minigolf to tennis table, there is a mini soccer ground, an amphitheatre for concerts and you can even row in the waters of a tenebrous lake.
Turda salt mine dates from the seventeenth century, but it was not opened as a tourist attraction until 1992. Located near Cluj-Napoca, the capital of the mythical and historical region of Transylvania (Romania), in 2009 it was refurbished to get the incredible futuristic design, that looks so good in pictures:
The highlight of the visit is the dark salty lake, 400 feet deep into the Earth. Pictured, the fancy island in the middle of the lake from above.
The lake is at the bottom of the cone-shaped Terezia mine, that it's connected with the other big chamber (Rudolf Mine), through the colossal window that you can see in the top.
The biggest hall, Rudolf Mine, is 138 feet deep, 165 feet wide and 263 feet long.
The vertical structure in the background is a panoramic glass elevator, and at the left is the base of the big wheel.
In this shot you can see the enormous aperture between both cavities (look at the size of the people in the balcony at the left).
View of the bridge that links the island to the rest of the complex from the water.
Feel the oddity of this place renting a boat and trying to get to the darkest areas, near the walls.
It's considered that the salty environment is beneficial to health thanks to the specific micro climate and clean air condition, so some areas are used as spa treatment rooms.
The legend says that the light rancid smell that can be appreciated in some galleries, like dirty socks in a student flat, are produced by the slow decaying corpses of a wagon of horses that fell into the lake.
Also all the historical mining facilities have been preserved, like this octagonal room. This machine was the "engine" used for vertical transport, horse powered.
On the way out (or in depending from which entrance are you coming from), there is a corridor with a "mining colony from the moon" style...
... that features these beautiful colors and shapes with a bit of light.
A frustrated Batcave? Christopher Nolan was interested in filming here scenes for The Dark Knight Rises, but the location was finally discarded.