The “Crivac” Chamber is an octagonal room which hosts a winch with a vertical axis known as “crivac” ‘horse mill’ or “gepel”.
Built in 1881, the Crivac in the Turda Salt mine is the only machine of this type of all the salt mines in Europe to be preserved in the place where it was operated.
In the “Crivac” Chamber, you can feel the traces of the salt exploitation process. You seem to hear the hooves of horses and the voices of the “miners” or “wheelers” who were handling the loading of salt in the extraction vessels and of the so-called “ghepelist”, who handled the horses that set the “crivac” in motion.
The “crivac”, an extraction machine, was operated by the force of the horses and served for the vertical transport of the salt exploited from Rudolf Mine, from the bottom level of this mine to the transport gallery level, through the extraction shaft located in the neighbouring chamber. You can see the year of its construction carved on the axle of the machine – 1881. This extraction machine replaced another one, of smaller dimensions, which was mounted in 1864.
The metal pieces of the “crivac” are made at the same factory in Romania – Reșița, where the iron for the entire Eiffel Tower was produced.
We also know that for each arm of the “Crivac” one or two horses were used, which were taking turns. The only source of light were the torches and, due to poor lighting and the circular motion, the horses were becoming blind in a short time – in just 2 weeks – after leaving the salt mine.
The history of the salt exploitation breathes through every corner of the “Crivac” Chamber.
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