Prešov city is famous for, e.g. salt extraction. In the past an important saltworks was active here, now reminded by a unique historical technical complex. The objects to extract and weigh salt were considered to be the national monument of culture in 1970.
First notes on salt layers in Prešov's area come from year 1223. In 1570 the shaft called Leopold (originally the Emperor's shaft) was deepened, thanks to which a layer of rock salt was discovered and salt's extraction was facilitated. In 1752 the mine was flooded and so called "gapel" equipped with a horse mill was built. The saline was extracted using bags made of buffalo's skins. Water flowed through wooden water pipe to eight wooden containers, each of 1320 ha volume. The saline flowed down to a basin heated with wood and then evaporated, leaving a layer of salt on the bottom. The saline was originally processed in saltworks František and Ferdinand. The second one was destroyed in 1931. The salt was stored in chambers, which, from architecture's point of view, were the most impressive objects. Unfortunately, they burnt on 18th of May, 1986. A rattle was built on the mine's surface. Knocking to the board signalised the beginning of a working day and other important or extraordinary events.
Unique monument of technology
From the original Saltworks one managed to preserve and reconstruct the rattle, Leopold shaft, horse mill, containers and saltworks František. The most original is the shape of the previous salt magazine tower. The exposition includes also a collection of contemporary photos and interesting small models. The complex available for public is located in the south - west part of Prešov, in Solivar district. The place is administered by the Slovakian Museum of Technology in Koszyce.
The laces of minors' wives
The saltworks history is connected with memoirs of the minors themselves. When the men were extracting slat, their wives were producing traditional laces. To preserve this tradition, some women still make unique colourful laces. Their works effects are beautiful paintings and fashionable accessories.