Çankırı Tuz Cave reopens after a year of closure

Çankırı Tuz Cave reopens after a year of closure

Çankırı Tuz Cave reopens after a year of closure

A salt cave in the Central Anatolian province of Çankırı, which has been a source of salt since the Hittite period and entered tourism, has started to welcome visitors once again.

The salt cave, which remained closed for about a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, draws attention with its different atmosphere believed to be good for treating asthma, bronchitis and lung diseases.

Called the “Underground Salt City” by the Çankırı Municipality, the cave has various embalmed animals, sculptures and other artworks that draw visitors. The body of a donkey, which is estimated to be about 200 years old, lies intact and well-preserved in the cave.

Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Çankırı Mayor İsmail Hakkı Esen said that it was difficult for them to carry out works in the region due to the pandemic.

Stating that they will invest approximately 15 million Turkish liras in the cave with the support of the North Anatolian Development Agency, Esen said, “We are currently in the project stage. Its approximate costs are being calculated. Hopefully, we will completely bring it to tourism next year. Our target is one million visitors, but we will raise the bar a little higher.”

Noting that there is a great demand for the Underground Salt City, Esen said: “Despite not being fully opened to tourism, the cave hosted 180,000 visitors every year. There is still a huge demand. We believe that the cave will make a great contribution to Çankırı in terms of promotion, development and employment.”

Stating that the area, which is open to visitors in the cave, has a closed area of 18,000 square meters and that they call this place the Underground Salt City, Esen said: “There will be an area where conference halls, cafeterias, children’s playgrounds, walking areas and sports activities will take place, and we have an area dedicated to health tourism. Hopefully, we will make it operational in the future. In other words, we will try to integrate everything that should be in a city. We will have a salt pool. We will create such a kind of area to serve as a rehabilitation center.”