Sălacea – discover the village of 1000 cellars
Vineyards and wine have lived at the edge of the Ierului Valley, on the slopes ever since ancient times. The famous wines from the vineyards that can be found here were sent to the guests of the kings in Budapest and to the royal tables in Vienna. The cellars that are dug deep into the ground are hundreds of years old, and most often they were passed on from father to son. Sălacea is situated on the 191 F county road which connects the city of Marghita and Mihai’s valley. The village that is inhabited by an overwhelming majority of Hungarians (92% of the population) has existed since the Bronze Age. This is first documented in 1067, and in 1215 the city appears in chronicles with the name of Zolos. It is believed that when the Hungarians came here an important community of Slavic origin has already been here, and they have been dealing with the exploitation and commercialization of salt; to which the name of the locality is also related.
Since salt was among the prestigious goods in the Middle Ages, Sălacea has become a thriving fair in 1217. Nevertheless, when this resource was depleted, the salt trade has disappeared from here. This is how viticulture has become the main economic activity in the area. Today, Sălacea is known as the “Village of the 1000 Cellars”. Regardless if they are reinforced with bricks or simply dug into the ground of the hill, the 970 cellars which are located on the sloping streets form a little neighborhood and especially a stunning, rare landscape made by the hands of man. The oldest cellar is from 1803. In the depths of the earth some cellars can reach up to 30 meters in length. The quality wines obtained from the grapes produced along the Ierului Valley are kept clear, aromatic and cold. Those who reach Sălacea must visit the traditional house from the village, which is right in the neighborhood of the cellars and the Ottomans mansion!