This Transylvanian Amusement Park is 400 Feet Below Ground

Caitlin Schneider
Kainet, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Kainet, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 / Kainet, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Before reading this, you might’ve had a sneaking suspicion that there was something of note tucked away in subterranean Transylvania, but you probably didn't expect it to be this cheerful, or this beautiful.

Salina Turda is a converted salt mine in Turda, Romania—one of the world’s oldest, with mentions as early as 1075. It ran as a working mine from the 17th century to 1932, when it became a facility for storing cheeses and a bomb shelter. Then in 1992 it was transformed into an underground amusement park.

With a maximum depth of 400 feet below ground, the park has several rooms and elevations with all the classic delights. There’s an amphitheater, mini golf, ping pong tables, basketball courts, a bowling alley, a Ferris wheel and a carousel. Visitors can paddle around a lake in rowboats while gazing at stalactites, or swing over to the spa, designed in part because the man-made cavern always stays at an apparently “optimal” 54 degrees with 80% humidity, and is relatively free of allergens and bacteria.

If your next visit to Romania isn't in the calendar yet, you can still tour the underground wonderland in its full glory via the video below.

[h/t AWOL]