Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Krakow, Poland

The Wieliczka Salt Mines are located approximately a half an hour outside Krakow, Poland, in a town called Wieliczka. You can choose to drive or take the train. Taking the train is easy as the last stop is the one for the mine. From the train station it’s about a ten to fifteen minute walk to the mine. Checking ahead on tours and time is advised, as different tours are given in different languages. This is a very busy tourist attraction, drawing up to 7000 tourists a day in Summer and 1500-3000 during winter months.

The subterranean world of giant caverns, subterranean caverns, chapels with sculptures crystalline salt, carvings, and labyrinth passages have been viewed by millions of visitors.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Image from Wikimedia commons

The marvel of ingenuity the ancient miners used and their mining equipment in the Wieliczka salt mine is a marvel of their times. This wonderful ancient salt mine located just on the outskirts of Krakow has been worked for over 900 years. It was once one of the largest and most profitable industry businesses in the world. Visitors to the Wieliczka Salt Mine today can walk underground in the oldest parts of this ancient salt mine, and also visit its beautiful subterranean museum. This tour including the museum will take you approximately three hours. To get down to the underground tour, visitors must walk down a wooden stairway with 378 steps. Underground there are many corridors and different terraces to visit, and the tour takes you to three of the six galleries available to see. On your tour you will view some very fascinating salt sculptures. When the tour is completed, you will be taking an elevator back to the surface which holds 36 people, and takes approximately 30 seconds to reach the top.

During the nine centuries of its operation, the Wieliczka has a total of 2,040 caverns and some 200 kilometers of passages. On your underground tour, you will be visiting twenty chambers, the last being where the world’s largest underground museum of mining , where it’s unique century old mining equipment is on display. The unique acoustics of some of the larger caverns makes the occasional concerts held here a very unique experience. The Chapel of Saint Kinga is a sizable subterranean church carved in rock salt, with salt sculptures and bas-reliefs. Here you will view aspectacular sculpture of Jesus and the Apostles.

With the exception of major holidays, the Wieliczka Mines are open for visitors all year long. You can either visit the mines in groups, or sign up for English or German tours for individual visitors. There are also special Nightly tours available with special booking that is approximately 1.5 hours in length.

Date posted: 15th March, 2013

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