The town’s history goes back in time three thousand years before Christ, more exactly when they used to exploit salt here. Later on, the Romans included Ocna Sibiului in an exploitation network and set the basis of the so-called “salt route”.
Salt extraction remained the main activity in the following centuries, too; in the 13th century, for instance, salt miners were given legal privileges and rights following the salt trade and in 1346 the settlement was declared a burgh. But gradually the salt mines were abandoned one by one and in time, under the influence of the climate factors, the walls collapsed and the salt mines became today’s lakes. Their healing effects became famous in the entire Transylvania in the 16th century. In mid-19th century the burgh was transformed in a spa resort upon the opening of the cold and hot baths.
The Ocna Sibiului spa resort is famous in the entire country due to the natural therapeutic factors: the highly concentrated salty lake water; the mineral water from the Horea spring; the sapropelic mud and also the calming, hilly topoclimate. They all help in the treatment of various diseases: chronic rheumatic diseases, diseases of the locomotive system, functional ailments, gynaecologic problems, sterility, obesity, endocrine illnesses, peripheral circulatory troubles.
At Ocna Sibiului there are two modern treatment facilities and in 2011 the lake facilities were all modernised. Besides the fun at the lakes or the spa treatments, we would also suggest a visit to the town. You shall discover the beautiful 13th century fortified church or the venerable oaks reserve.
Did you know...?
At Ocna Sibiului there are 15 natural lakes, among them the Bottomless Lake which is declared a monument of nature due to its unique heliothermia phenomenon.
Lake Brâncoveanu, the Red Lake and the Black Lake are the saltiest lakes in Europe - their salinity is of 415 gr/l. Lake Avram Iancu is the deepest salt mine lake in Romania.
The last salt mine was closed in 1931. It had been operational since 906.
The oaks from the reserve near Ocna are over 700 years old. They say that Michael the Brave himself rested under one of these oaks on his way to Alba-Iulia.