Abandoned Mines that are now Tourist Spots
Who would have thought that an abandoned mine, where a few years ago people were able to find gold, silver and copper and what not, would be transformed into a tourist attraction? There are so many of these abandoned mining areas around the world that have been taken far from being a real danger to the people- the toxic waste or accidental deaths- to places where people from different cities and even countries would come to visit as a tourist site.
Here is the list of some such abandoned mines:
Salina Turda, Romania: It is the first ever such project taken to convert an abandoned mine into a tourism site. It was a salt mine that goes down to 120 meters and even today, all the visitors are taken to the bottom of the mine with the same elevator that miners used initially. This mine was open to public in 1992 as an underground amusement park.
Main attractions: boating on the underground lake, attending a concert in an amphitheatre that can seat 180 people, a carousel ride. What is also interesting about the mine is that it has healing properties because of the natural occurrence of salt and humidity and to enjoy the healing properties, it has a spa and a wellness center.
Go Below® Ultimate Extreme™, Wales: This abandoned mine is for the adventure seeking and for people who want to feel the adrenaline rush. It is a fully functional amusement park which is the longest in the world at 5 km of stretch. It is the home to world’s longest zip line and it has a total of nine zip lines that run high off the ground and passes through caverns, each in a different chamber. Not just that, it gets you to the deepest point in Great Britain, it has a 21 meters free-fall and a lot of run through the traverses. It is a truly adventurous experience to be in this abandoned mine and it is a full-day activity.
C-Mine Cultural Square, Genk, Belgium: the one way the city of Genk has stuck to its roots and has been educating the people about its coal mining industry is by making the abandoned coal mine area as a cultural square. It is a cultural and leisure center which has used its older infrastructure to create cultural and educational centers like schools, restaurants and theatres. It has been preserved as a kind of heritage site by the Genk Town Council.
The attractions here are the large theatre, cinemas and the numerous restaurants. It has a Faculty of Media, Art and Design along with two towers for the former mine shafts that now stand as landmarks. Visitors are also allowed to walk through the old mine as a tourist attraction.
The Eden Project, Cornwall, England: if you ever wondered where the largest indoor rainforest in the world was, it is here. There are massive biomes which house the largest rainforest in captivity. It is undeniably a beautiful place with stunning plants and exhibitions, contemporary gardens and summer concerts. Apart from these, there are year long events that take place here which is famous among the tourists and locals alike.
The most interesting part of this place is that these biomes are interconnected which replicate different environmental conditions to sustain the plants. Other activities that are favoured by tourists are ice skating and attending the concert series called the Eden Sessions.
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland: this mine is the world’s oldest continuously operating mine from 13th century to 2007, after which its workers stopped all production. Now this mine has been converted into a tourist attraction and it houses an underground hotel and health resort among other things.
It is also known as Poland’s Underground Salt Cathedral where tourists visit 22 chambers which have intricate statues, chandeliers and chapels which miners have carved out since the 13th century. It is not only a historically important location but also houses Polish culture by continually organising concerts and art exhibitions among other special events. Other attractions include multi coloured pools of water and deep caverns.
Featured Image credit: Instagram @soul_krakow_tours