Roman occupation in Dacia , marks the beginning of a systematic exploitation of mining iron ore polymetallic gold , silver and salt in Transylvania.
Salt exploitation in Roman times is probably ,but a clear evidence of this activity are lacking , it is conceivable that the great medieval and modern exploitation (until the first third of the twentieth century ) as the vaults in the old mines collapses , followed by appearance of salt lakes to be destroyed the marks of ancient mining (galleries , shafts , gears , etc. . ) . In 1876, the mine gallery track “Ghizela” intercepted existence of underground mining work which nothing was known in the moment when making the gallery.
Except during the Dacian and the Roman occupation, the period for there is no another evidence of existence at Turda salt mines, we believe that early salt mining in sense in which that concept is defined in the present time is situated in the centuries XI – XIII.
In 1075 the Hungarian chancellery in a document which refers to Transylvania also mentioned about the salt mines “to the fortress which is called Turda … the place which is called in Hungarian Aranyas and in Latin Aureus
The first document who speaks explicitly the existence at Turda salt mines is dated May 1, 1271, was issued by the Hungarian chancellery. By that act, capitle gave himself Transylvania “the salt mine in Turda”. Subsequently, both the capitle of Esztergom and the bishop of Alba Iulia and Transylvania were growing privileges to use the salt mine.
Documents stored in XIII – XVI century’s that refer to salt exploitation from Turda salt mines mention here that salt mines were willing to microplateau Salt Baths and on the south-eastern part of the Salt Valley. Exploitation rooms were located on the current locations at the perimeters salt lakes above. In the eighteenth century start exploitation the first salt works on the side of the Valley NV Sprite, materialized in wells of the dome chamber “Theresa”. Shortly the “St. Anton mine is open and the the perimeter exploitation activity continues until the first half of the twentieth century.
The report on the exploitation of mines in Transylvania issued on 16 August 1528 Hans Dernschwam is presented the situation where the pantry is found in Turda. As a Royal Commissioner sent to take over the administration of the Transylvanian salt pantry , Dernschwam presents in its report the issues to be resolved for a systematically exploitation, to increase the salt production and sale its the internal market and especially the external.
The Turda Salt Mine which was from its very beginning one of the most important in Transylvania, started to decline after 1840 because of the ever bigger competition from the salt mine in Ocna Mures, gradually coming to be but a reserve to the latter. Up to 1862 salt mine was extracted in Turda from the three old wells of”Joseph”,”Theresa”and “Anthony”.During this year the salt exploitation in the “Anthony” well ,where extraction had reached the depth of 108 metres, was stopped because of a high infiltration of clay in the deposit. The biggest problem which the Salt Customhouse in the Turda was confronted with during this time consisted in the transportation of salt from the” mouth ”of the wells in Valea Sarata (Salty Valley) to the storehouses in New Turda ,the way begin rather abrupt. To make transportation easier and to cut the expenses ,in 1853 was decided the building of a conveyance gallery which was to start from New Turda .This gallery ,called Franz Joseph, reached the length of 780 m in 1870,being furthered to 137 m till the end of century. Along with the diggings for the conveyance gallery,”Terezia” well also modernized ,it being provided with two more side compartments-“Rudolph”and “Ghizela”,extraction being concentrated in “Rudolph “mine though.
Salt cutters with their gear, into the Turda Salt Mine (year 1894)
Turda Salt Mine -1931 (foto I. Fussy)