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Our next trip can be justly called a journey to one of the wonders of Donbas. The name of the city of speaks for itself (it consists of the words “salt” and “gift”). Here is deposited one of the most powerful salt beds in the world; salt-works have been operat­ing here for more than 125 years. The enterprise “Artemsil“- one of the largest in Europe – offers tourists an excursion to salt mines at a depth of 288 m. (marketing department address: Soledar, 1 a Chkalov St. Young people under age are not allowed). In the underground kingdom of salt you will see real wonders – the walls, ceiling, and floor all of salt; pictures, figurines, trees are also of salt! And recently, being underground, people rose on a balloon! Is it a paradox? No, it is just a record for the Guinness Book of Records! In chamber 41 -is (height about 30 m) they not only go in for aeronautics, but also listen to concerts of symphonic music. In October 2004 here sounded the “Salt Sym­phony” performed by Donetsk musicians. Maestro Kurt Schmidt, conductor from Austria, commented his performance in the un­derground concert hall as follows:”I was simply staggered! Notes flew up under the vault of the cave, and then slowly, like a cloud, went down. It was stunning!” According to him there are 2-3 theaters in the world that can compete with the acoustics of the Artemivsk salt-mines. After the con­cert the listeners were treated to Austrian national dishes. By the way, similar actions are periodically repeated. A hospital (speleosanatorium) is located in the worked-out tunnels. Its spe­cialists successfully treat heavy diseases -for instance, bronchial asthma. To get to the mine you should follow away from Artemivsk for about 10 km. After the trafficator turn right and move down the main street through the township. Mines are found in the outskirts of Soledar, to the left of the highway.

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