Photos and text
Salt from ancient times is the constant companion of man. This mineral, which is familiar to us now, in certain historical periods was valued on a par with gold and possession of it brought wealth and power. And all because until a certain time, salt mining was a manual and laborious process. In the modern world, salt mining has long been mechanized, is carried out on a huge scale and costs a penny.
In Ukraine, the main salt-producing enterprise is the state-owned enterprise Artyomsol, which has extensive production facilities in the city of Soledar, Donetsk Region. In addition to the existing production, there is also a small and at the same time a unique area accessible to tourists. There we look today.
Brief historical background
In 1880, in the Donbas, a large underground salt deposit was discovered near the village of Bryantsevka. The following year, the first mine was commissioned and industrial production of rock salt began. This event actually marked the beginning of the Artyomsol enterprise and the development of the current Soledar.The enterprise got its modern name in honor of F.A. Artyom. Today, Artyomsol is the largest enterprise for the extraction and sale of table salt in Central and Eastern Europe: the products are delivered to 22 countries around the world.
The company is able to produce more than 7 million tons of salt per year. In Soviet times, Artyomsol produced up to 40% of All-Union rock salt mining.
Salt production at the Artyomovskoye deposit occurs at a depth of 200-300 m. For more than a hundred years, a system of workings has been formed with a length of about 300 km, more than 250 million tons of salt have been produced, the volume of voids exceeded 110 million cubic meters meters Despite the large volume of workings, only 3% of the salt that is in the field is currently developed. So the salt reserves of Soledar will be enough for a long time.
In one of the developed workings is located underground department speleo-sanatorium "Salt Symphony", in which the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system. Up to 100 people can heal here at the same time. There are also guided tours and there is even an underground museum of the salt industry. The tourist site is a couple of kilometers away.
The beginning of 2014.Upon arrival at the destination point, we are met by one of the numerous mining pile-drivers, which are scattered across the Donbass, and the inscription “GP Artemsol” above the entrance.
2. From the very first steps, it is felt that there is still a current enterprise, and not a developed tourist attraction
4. The descent to the tourist area takes place through the shaft 3-bis, which now plays the role of ventilation. The tourist level is at a depth of 288 m. The speed of descent is 3.75 m / s and in just one and a half minutes we are already at the bottom. During the descent lays ears.
5. Ruddvor and mine cage. The barrel itself has a lining of cast iron tubing almost the entire height.
7. Walls of salt. The body of salt. Sex (suddenly!) Is also from salt. Such a huge salt shaker, inside which you can walk.
8. The salt field began to emerge 250 million years ago from the salt deposits of the shallow bay of the ancient sea, which was located on the site of the current Soledar. The walls and arches of the workings are as if covered with waves - the salt layer in the section looks so unusual. Each layer was formed about 100 thousand years.
9. In the tourist area and speleo-sanatorium you can see a number of sculptures and bas-reliefs of salt, created by the hands of local craftsmen. For example, the patron saint of miners is Kind Shubin. The letters AU - the logo "Artyomsoli".
ten.The thickness (thickness) of the horizon in this place is more than 30 m.
11. The main entrance to the underground part of the speleological sanatorium:
12. I otkovyryal couple of pieces of salt from the walls and tasted - the salt was tasty and clean. In general, they say that salt from a local deposit can be packaged in bags literally right away without cleaning.
13. The analogue of the Mertsalov palm tree is also created from salt:
14. Entrance to the museum of the salt industry. The bricks around the door are made of salt crystals and have a dynamic light that constantly changes color. We will not go to the museum itself, there is nothing particularly interesting there. It is better to see how the speleological sanatorium works.
15. Non-parade entrance to the speleological sanatorium:
16. Remnants of the New Year:
17. The temperature in the workings is constantly within about 15 ° C.
19. Production in the rock salt massif is absolutely dry. Water is the main problem of the salt field. If in a dry state, salt mines do not require additional reinforcement and perfectly withstand rock pressure, then when water enters, they begin to rapidly deteriorate. Therefore, waterproofing here are of particular importance.
20.The beauty of Soledar is that there are still well preserved traces of real salt mining: the walls and vaults are carved with characteristic patterns from heading machines.
21. This is the deepest toilet I've ever seen.
22. Department for the rest of patients. Behind the curtains are the beds.
23. Local amenities:
24. Another long development in which you can not only relax, but also have a good time:
26. In the development, which is fenced with a grid on the 30th photo, there is a transformer:
27. This is how sleeping places look:
28. There is literally everything.
30. Like a layer cake:
31. Well, the most epic place is the camera 42, having a height of 27 m and more than 100 m in length.
32. On the walls and in the end visible characteristic traces of the incisors combine tunnel combine. The camera was developed by multiple penetrations from top to bottom. By the number of rounds in the butt you can easily count the number of passes of the combine (two rounds = 1 pass).
33. In general, there are a lot of such cameras in Soledar, but only two are open for tourists.