Deep in the Transylvanian countryside is an unlikely tourist attraction: an ancient salt mine, dating back more than two millennia, that has been transformed into an underground amusement park.
Thousands of visitors descend Salina Turda’s vertical shafts each year to play miniature golf, go bowling, visit the salt mining museum, row on its below-ground lake, and relax at its subterranean spa. The submerged wonderland even has a full-sized Ferris wheel.
In a previous life, when salt was more valuable than gold, the mines filled coffers across Europe. Salina Turda was active from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century, when it became a World War II shelter. The mine was finally opened as a visitor attraction in 1992 and has since been visited by 2 million Romanian and foreign tourists.
Photographer Richard John Seymour’s new collection of images show off the eccentric site at its most stunning. The rugged caverns and artificial light look like something out of a sci-fi film, creating a space that’s strange but beautiful – a unique harmony of man-made constructions and the natural world. It’s easy to see why Salina Turda has been called one of the most beautiful underground places in the world.
Check out the photos above and take a video tour here.