Even closer to Turda Salt Mine, Şovăgailor Church rises majestically with its turrets. It is also called the Church of the Salt Cutters because its name comes from the Hungarian language, só = salt and vágó = cutter, serving from the beginning as the place of prayer for the miners of Turda Salt Mine.
The story dates back to 1467, when King Matthias Corvinus thwarted a plot of the nobles from Cluj and Turda, and he is said to have appointed Miklós Oláh, an uncle of his of Romanian descent, as prefect of the salt mines in Transylvania, based in Turda. This allowed the Orthodox Romanians from Turda Salt Mine to build their own church, near the mine, provided they worked in the salt mines.
Şovagăilor Church, built of wood, was erected on the site of salt mines. After 1700, the church becomes the seat of the Greek-Catholic confession and the church of the Turda Archpriestship. After several years, in 1709, it was rebuilt by the Greek Catholics.
200 years later, in 1948, the church was confiscated and put into use by the Romanian Orthodox Church, which renovated it in the Byzantine style, in the form that is still found today. Inside the church, there are still some icons painted on wood, from the old church, which date back in time more than 500 years.
Another reminder of the miners’ past in the Turda area, which complements the beautiful histories and legends of the place.
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