The history of the Roman site at Potaissa is closely connected to the legionary base of the V Macedonica legion garrisoned here during the early stages of the Marcomannic Wars, around 170 AD, remaining there until the abandonment of the province during the latter part of the 3rd century. The legionary fortress situated on Fortress Hill (“Dealul Cetății” in Romanian) has an estimated inner area of around 23 ha, and has been the site of systematic archaeological research for many decades. As a result, Potaissa is the best known legionary fortress in Roman Dacia, represented by an archaeological park featuring the conserved remains of the headquarters building (principia), the grain storage (horrea), the Western Gate, the curtain and north-western bastions, the waste canal from the north-eastern corner and the bath complex. Potaissa was the most important military settlement from the northern part of Dacia. It was recorded on the Tabula Peutingeriana (Seg. VIII) as Patavissa, situated between Salinae (today Ocna Mureș) and Napoca (Cluj-Napoca). It had a typical medium-sized legionary fort layout, with four gates and the principia at the intersection between via praetoria and via principalis. Its inner space was judiciously used, in order to ensure the livelihood for over 5000 soldiers. With an estimated population of circa 20,000 inhabitants, the civilian settlement received the status of municipium from the emperor Septimius Severus, together with the ius Italicum.
The ruins of the legionary fort were still visible in Medieval Ages. From this point on, the stones from the Roman fort were used by the inhabitants for the construction of many buildings in the centre of Turda. Within the fort, archaeological excavations have revealed numerous ancient artefacts, such as sculptures, architectural pieces, mosaics, inscriptions, coins and other small finds, included nowadays in national museum collections (also in the local museum of Turda) or international ones, many of them in Budapest or Wien.
The History Museum of Turda was founded in 1943 and is housed today in a beautiful 15th century building that was Turda’s Salt Mines Custom House and later on the temporary residence for the Princes of Transylvania. The artefacts exhibited in the museum reflect the evolution of the communities that lived in this part of Transylvania in terms of historical, archaeological, artistic, architectural, scientific, cultural and religious life.
Salina Turda is a salt mine in the Durgău-Valea Sărată area of Turda, the second largest city in Cluj County, Romania. Salt was first extracted here during antiquity and the mine continuously produced table salt starting from Middle Ages, the mine being first mentioned in 1075, and until the early 20th century (1932). The first salt mining works on the north-western slope of Valea Sărată began in the 17th century, as evidenced by shafts in the dome of Terezia room. Shortly after, Saint Anton mine was opened, where mining activity continued until the first half of the 20th century.
Since 1992, Salina Turda has been a halotherapy centre and a popular tourist attraction. In 2008, the salt mine was modernized and improved under the program PHARE 2005 ESC large regional/local infrastructure, worth six million euros. It was opened to tourism in January 2010. The innovative look of this gargantuan amusement park seems like something out of a science fiction movie. It contains attractions like an amphitheatre, an underground lake that may be explored with paddles and rowboats, a Ferris wheel, spa treatment rooms with natural aerosols, bowling alley, mini-golf, sports field, table tennis, pool tables. The main attractions are Iosif Mine, Crivac room, Therezia, Rudolf and Gisella mines. Salina Turda was placed by Business Insider at the top of their list of the ten “coolest underground places in the world”.