These mines were abandoned until someone found a new purpose for them! From theme parks to giant underground mushroom factories, this top 10 list of old mines and unusual places will amaze you!
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8. Louisville Mega Cavern
Underneath all ten lanes of the Watterson Expressway and parts of the local zoo in Louisville, Kentucky, there’s a 100-acre former limestone mine known as the Louisville Mega Cavern. It’s classified as a building because of its support structures, and is therefore technically the largest building in the state of Kentucky.
7. Salina Turda Amusement Park
The Salina Turda amusement park in Romania is located within one of the world’s oldest salt mines, which dates back to the 17th century. Between then and 1932, when the mine officially closed, over three billion tons of salt were mined from this site underneath Turda, Transylvania, which lies 400 feet below the ground’s surface.
6. Subtropolis Business Park
In 2014, this $60 million data center was opened in a former underground limestone mine in Kansas City, Missouri. It was developed by Lamar Hunt, the late owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, in collaboration with Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development.
5. Wieliczka Salt Mine and Health Resort
The 800-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine is located in southern Poland in the town of Wieliczka, which is part of the Krakow metropolitan area. The mine was excavated in the 13th century and continuously produced sodium chloride, or table salt, until 2007. That is a really long time! As the result of falling salt prices and mine flooding, commercial salt mining was discontinued in 1996.
4. Lake Ore-Be-Gone
Lake Ore-Be-Gone is an artificial freshwater lake in Gilbert, Minnesota that was made by flooding three open-pit ore mines with water. The tranquil lake is known for its crystal-clear water, which looks “almost tropical” on an especially sunny day.
3. White Mountain Publications Bookstore
In the Cobalt Mining District of Northern Ontario, you can find White Mountain Publications, an independent bookstore which is also most likely the world’s only bookstore that’s part of an old silver mine.
2. Creekside Mushrooms Ltd.
Located in Worthington, PA, Creekside Mushrooms Ltd. was once the world’s largest mushroom facility and the nation’s only underground mushroom operation. The facility was located within an old limestone mine, whose subterranean conditions proved to be ideal for growing white button mushrooms.
1. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
This Roman Catholic church was built 200 meters (220 yards) below ground in the tunnels of a former salt mine near the Colombian town of Zipaquira, about 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Bogota. It serves as both a place of pilgrimage and a tourist destination, and is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture. I’ve been here and it is pretty amazing!
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