PRAID - an important salt mine in Transilvania By: Iulia
Praid is the biggest municipality from Harghita (approximately 4000 people). Additionally there are three other villages under Praid’s administration: Ocna de Jos (Alsósófalva), Ocna de Sus (Felsosófalva) and Becas (Bekastanya). Praid is located between Sovata and Corund villages, close to the border of Harghita and Mures. This countryside is a real paradise for all those nature lovers who aren’t satisfied only with sightseeing from cars or coaches. If you are not fortunate to have a car, you can go by train. Last stop is in Sighisoara. From there you have to take a bus to Sovata – Balauseri – Praid and, if you miss it, there is only one bus who takes you directly to the destination. Being attested since 1564, Praid is a relatively “young” countryside. The name (the original Parajd, in Hungarian) comes from “paraj”, meaning “a small field covered with grass”. One of the biggest salt deposits from Europe is located in this place. From here and there, this mineral shows up even at the surface, between trees and grass, like a precious jewel. Besides the “young” Praid, there is the memory of the “old” Praid, remembered to be the home of the civilians, who used to assure the food for the military basis of the “Rapsonné” Citadel. The citadel existed when the two small localities - “Bábirkó” and “Görgényalja” were starting to come to life on the territory of today’s Praid. As a result of the massive salt exploitations, a large subterranean network has formed. Here, underground, a saline microclimate was born. The entering in the mine is done by bus through a very long tunnel (1500 m) and then by descending around 300 stairs. Inside, the temperature is somewhere around 14-16 degrees Celsius, the humidity is low and the air is ionized, the perfect remedy for breathing problems and not only.
Salt bath and treatments The air is not the only element with benefits. One can always enjoy a salt bath in Praidâ€™s open door swimming pool, but if you search a more complex treatment, you will definitely enjoy the benefic effect of the salt water spas, very helpful in rheumatic therapy. As far as I have heard, this bath is supplied with water pumped from the Doja mine, from a depth of 150m.The salinity of this water becomes very high, because it remains in an underground basin for a few months. Any attempt of swimming fails, which gives us a very funny view: tourists floating at the surface, moving in disorder. The benefic effect of the salt bath is for the whole body, healing, calming, physically and psychically relaxing. A single bath can last between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the individual needs. The temperature of this salted water is 36 degrees Celsius. A treatment consists of 10-14 warm baths without interruption and it is carried out underground, 120 m below the surface. Who can benefit of these treatments are people between 2-60 years. It was shown that those who returned for treatment 3 or 4 times had a positive reaction, the number and intensity of asthmatic crisis decreasing. The salt bath is opened between the 1st of June and the 15th of October. During winter, if you are a ski addicted, you can enjoy ski slopes existing in Praidâ€™s area: Slope Alunis Sovata, Slope Alunis Sovata II, Slope Bogdan and Slope Bucin.
Playground and recreation Many of my friends took their kids here, knowing that they won’t get bored. I know this for a fact because even my son spent some extremely pleasant moments in the salt mine playground. You can play badminton, ping-pong or football, while kids can have fun in special places where they can find wooden swings and slights. All the exercises, combined with the benefits of the air, provide a healthy ambiance for everybody. If you are an indoor type of person, even here, so deep in the ground, there is a chance for you too: there are areas with wireless and plugs, TVs other entertainment facilities. Church I would like to mention that there is also a chapel inside which attracts many visitors through its simplicity. Twice a day, the orthodox religious ceremony is held. Right beside the exit door are sold various souvenirs, including religious books and oiled icons painted on wood. I would like to think that Praid’s power of attraction will increase in the future. I could say that those who have once stopped here have been enchanted by the beauties of nature and overwhelmed by the hospitality of the local people. Find out more about the Praid’s salt mine by visiting the www.salinapraid.ro website. https://www.facebook.com/accentureinromania ©2012 Accenture. All rights reserved