Photo courtesy of Polish National Tourist Office
Salt Mines at Wieliczka
It's only a short bus or train ride from Krakow to Wieliczka, the site of one of Poland's most remarkable attractions. The salt mine in Wieliczka produced commercial salt for over 700 years and for much of that time curious visitors (from Nicolaus Copernicus to Bill Clinton) have been coming down to admire this surreal underground world. A tour of the mine begins with a descent of 378 steps before following a two-mile route through the mine, where the guides show visitors the highlights of this strange world including underground lakes and statues carved from salt. The highlight is the stunning Chapel of St. Kinga, where even the chandeliers are made from salt. The journey back to the surface is via a mining cage–style elevator.
By Andy Jarosz, AFAR Local Expert
Made of salt
Salt Mine - Wieliczka Situated 10 km from the city centre of Krakow. The Mine is the heritage of the work of several dozen generations of miners. Today, the Wieliczka chambers are known mostly as one of Poland’s most visited tourist sites. There is underground infrastructure you can visit as well as many events during the year. New Year’s Eve Concert, Chopin concert series, Jazz Meetings, New Year’s Eve Ball, others. If you think about unusual events in a remarkable place it could be nice idea.
Actually you don't have to - because someone else did already... and boy did they ever do a nice job. This salt mine, located outside of Krakow Poland is the home of several undergound chapels as well as the usual salt mine attractions of slides from level to level. The Wieliczka Salt Mine also is steeped in history as during WWII it was the location of an aircraft factory manned by prisoners of nearby labor camps.