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Artemovsk Salt Mines

History and Geographic Location of the Soledar Mines

In the city of Soledar (Donetsk region) there is a unique opportunity for visiting a real hydrochloric mine. The name “Soledar”, meaning “the salt giving”, speaks for itself. The existing healing center and a salt museum are unique establishments located deep underground in the salt mines. The air there, which is enriched by salt particles, treats asthma and strengthens nervous system. There are only few centers of this kind in the world. And even a choosy foreign tourist will be inspired with new impressions walking in the Soledar salt mines!

Soledar is situated on a distance of a two-hour bus ride from Donetsk or a 20-minute ride from the city of Artemovsk. The distance from Kiev to Soledar is 699 km (railway), 755 km (highway, line E-40).

The salt deposits near Soledar and Artemovsk are ones of the biggest in the world (the existing deposits will suffice for 2 thousand years).

The first settlement in this area occurred in the last quarter of the XVII century when the Cossacks of the Izyumsky regiment and immigrants from the north of Ukraine came to this region and started salt mining. In the second half of the XIX century there was discovered a big deposit of stone salt and was opened a number of mines.

Excursions to the Salt Mines. "Salt Symphony" Health Center

Typically, the excursion begins with brief precaution instructions. The total length of the excursion route is about 700 meters at a depth of 300 meters. The average time of excursions is 1.5-2 hours. The “salt” tourists visit closed mines #1 and 3 and the chamber # 41.

Walls, ceilings and floors as well as some sculptures and trees – everything is made of shiny salt. The salt is everywhere even in the air (floors are with covered with tiny salt participles of 1 to 40 mm so make sure that you have appropriate footwear on you). The temperature underground is always +14 C (57,2 F).

During the excursion tourists visit a hydrochloric football ground, underground labyrinths, a concert hall and an underground gallery. You can also enjoy original figures made of salt (various dwarfs staying on duty of the Underground Kingdom, a salt palm tree and other).

Close to the excursion route there is a speleological health treatment center “Salt Symphony” located at a depth of 288 meters. It provides treatment of different bronchial and allergic diseases. Today, such treatment, in the conditions of the salty microclimate, is considered to be one of the most effective. According to some statistics, about 70-85% of adults and 85-95% of children get a recovery. The air in hydrochloric mines is full of the salt participles (about 15 mg in 1 cubic meter), the atmosphere pressure is 772 mm hg, humidity – 60%, and the air temperature is 14-16 C. All this has a very positive effect for people with bronchial and lung problems, as well as some allergic diseases.

In October 2004 there was a unique performance in the big chamber of the Soledar mines – a concert of the Donetsk symphonic orchestra conducted by the Austrian conductor Kurt Schmidt and with the participation of the soloist of the Viennese opera Victoria Lukyanets. The musicians were amazed by the acoustics capacities of the salt hall.


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