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Soledar Salt Mine

Bakhmut District

semi-overcast 12 °C

The Ukrainian house exhibition

The Ukrainian house exhibition


Soledar is a town in Bakhmut District of Donetsk region, Ukraine whose great sight and pride are hidden at the depth of 300 meters. According to the advertisements, the amazing underground world of the salt mine located here leaves no one indifferent! We paid a visit to Soledar Salt Mine and found out it was true. We found ourselves in a completely different world, unforgettable, unknown and intriguing...
The complex of old developed salt mines of Artemsol State Enterprise is open for visitors. The first salt mine was commissioned in 1881. As a result of more than a hundred years of underground work, a system of passages with a length of over 200 km formed in the earth’s thickness. Their sizes amaze, their height sometimes reaches 30 m.
Our guide explained that the salt mine had a constant temperature of +15 °C all the year round, humidity of 60 +/- 2%, pressure of 772 +/- 3 mm Hg.
The air in the salt mine is saturated with natural highly dispersed salt, consisting of respiratory fractions with a particle size of salt up to three microns. The air in the salt mine is completely void of microbes and allergens. It penetrates your body providing a powerful stimulating effect. Being in the salt mine has anti-inflammatory and mucolytic effect and promotes the enhancement of the immunity and neural system, The microclimate of the salt mine has a tremendous complex effect on the entire human body as a whole.

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Entering the salt tunnels

Entering the salt tunnels

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Our tour included a visit of the processed galleries of the salt mine, among them the famous Salt Chamber 41-bis. Of course, everything down there is made of salt: the walls, the ceiling, the carved sculptures and bas-reliefs. As our guide explained to us, the tour rans along the bottom of the ancient sea.

At Salt Dwarf bas-relief

At Salt Dwarf bas-relief


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During the tour we visited the salt industry museum, the sportsground, the underground labyrinths, the concert hall, the salt spa called Salt Symphony, and other underground galleries. We saw many bas-reliefs and sculptures made of salt, among them the bas-relief dedicated to Shubin the Kind Gnome ("Dobryi Shubin" in Russian).
We found out about Shubin the Kind Gnome, the custodian of the underworld. Shubin the Kind Gnome is the protection spirit of the mine and its strict owner. He does not forgive the carelessness and audacity of the people who descend to his realm underground. But for those who respect him and his underground treasures, he will be a tireless advocate.

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Our salt mine guide told us many interesting stories about the salt mine. The air in the salt mines is saturated with salt particles ranging in size from 1 to 5 microns. The concentration of microparticles in one cubic meter is up to 15 mg. The atmospheric pressure in the salt mine comprises 72 mm Hg, the humidity is 60% and the temperature ranges from 14 to 16 °C, which has a beneficial effect on the health state of the salt spa patients.

Salt Symphony sign

Salt Symphony sign

A ward at the salt spa

A ward at the salt spa

Visiting a salt production tunnel

Visiting a salt production tunnel


The salt mine contains Salt Symphony Spa. The spa is also called a speleosanatorium here. This is where they successfully treat bronchial asthma, asthmatic, obstructive bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, moderate severity of psoriasis, decreased immunity, and thyroid disease. According to our guide Vladimir, the salt spa is especially popular with women because, as they say, there is a significant decrease in the number of wrinkles. The treatment at this salt spa is also effective for children. That kind of treatment in the salt mine is officially called speleotherapy. This method is a highly effective drug-free method of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of respiratory diseases of adults and children. This treatment takes place in the salt mines of Soledar at the spa located at the depth of 288 meters at the bottom of the ancient ocean.

During our salt mine tour

During our salt mine tour


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Having physiotherapy and breathing exercises, the salt spa patients spend their time in three spacious salt galleries. The medical treatment rooms are in the niches hidden in the walls. As a rule, children quickly get used to the new situation, play chess and other sports games, and the youngest kids play with salt like with ordinary sand. Adults can read their favorite books, periodicals, and play tennis. In addition, there is an underground bar for those who decided to relax at the depth of almost 300 meters.

Here is a link to Salt Symphony website.

The underground photo gallery

The underground photo gallery

The underground church

The underground church


We saw a church in one of the salt galleries. We saw a unique salt palm - an analogue of the Mertsalov’s Palm, a symbol of the Donets Basin. We saw many other bas-reliefs and sculptures made of salt by craftsmen.

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We took a picture of the bronze letter of thanks created by a grateful patient of the salt spa - V.F.Denisiuk, a teacher of an orphans school in Zhytomyr. It was written on July 16, 2009.
This is what he wrote to the staff of the salt spa:

I walk kilometers in the mine,
Crushing my favorite callus,
I’m waiting for the wind from the fan,
Raking the salt with my feet.

Flowing in a mountain serpentine
The salt pattern sparkles is sparkling.
Here the climate is not subject to winters,
It is cool like in spring.

Behind the curtains there are wards,
Here is a tunnel, then turn left.
The kids sleep peacefully in the wards,
And the adult people sleep in the neighboring ward.

They spend both day and night here,
Inhaling the salt comfort and touching the salt,
After all, the salt prevents you from coughing.

Everything is treated here! Salt is a gift from God!
We have the café of nurses and doctors here.
And a symphony of salts that
Sounds in the lungs of every patient.

With the music of this symphony in my lungs and in my soul, I will live, breathe, and gratefully recall the attentive, caring, professional, and wonderful team of the salt spa.

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Salt Chamber 41-bis


We found out that in December 2003, a record had been registered in Chamber 41-bis. It was entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the first underground ballooning of the “hopper” type.

Visiting the Salt Chamber 41-bis

Visiting the Salt Chamber 41-bis

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Zodiac bas-relief

Zodiac bas-relief

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In addition, in October 2004, a concert of the Donbass Symphony Orchestra was held under the direction of the Austrian conductor Kurt Schmid with the participation of the Vienna Opera soloist Victoria Lukianets. The concert was called "Salt Symphony". The Austrian composer and conductor Kurt Schmid commented on the sound of the orchestra in the salt mine. He said,

I'm just amazed! The notes flew up to the vaults of the cave, and then descended slowly, like a cloud.

According to the conductor, there are only two or three theaters in the world that can compete with the acoustics of the salt mine.

The salt treble clef

The salt treble clef

The salt replica of Mertsalov's Palm-Tree

The salt replica of Mertsalov's Palm-Tree

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The tours start at specified time: at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. only by appointment The two-hour tour costs UAH200.

The salt replica of Mertsalov's Palm-Tree

The salt replica of Mertsalov's Palm-Tree

Coat-of-arms of Soledar

Coat-of-arms of Soledar

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The salt mine is at 11 October Street, Soledar Donetsk region. Tel. +38 0627 44 25 73, +38 0627 44 30 86, +38 0627 44 25 38.

At Salt Symphony Spa

At Salt Symphony Spa

At the entrance to the salt industry museum_the sculpture of Shubin the Kind Gnome is to the left

At the entrance to the salt industry museum_the sculpture of Shubin the Kind Gnome is to the left

Posted by Vic_IV 01:55 Archived in Ukraine Tagged salt mine region donetsk soledar

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Comments

Great page, reminds me of a visit to Wieliczka salt mine near Krakow,don"t remember a Spa there.Thanks for posting.

by alectrevor

Very interesting - the Salt Chamber 41-bis looks amazing! But do the patients of the spa spend time living underground here, or do they just come for day treatments?

by ToonSarah

As far as I know, they first course of treatment is one or two nights, then it can be repeated after their doctor's prescrpition.

by Vic_IV

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