"700-year-old the Wieliczka Salt Mine" Top 5 Page for this destination Wieliczka by matcrazy1
Wieliczka Travel Guide: 118 reviews and 490 photos
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The Wieliczka Salt Mine, nowadays practically on the outskirts of Krakow, has been worked as a source of rock salt since the late 13th century.
It used to be one of the world's biggest and most profitable industrial establishments when common salt was commercially a medieval equivalent of today's oil. Always a magnet, since the mid 18th century the salt mine has become increasingly a tourist attraction in the first place.
Today visitors walk underground for about 2,000 m (6562 ft) in the oldest part of the salt mine, which takes two hours or so. Seven centuries of mining in Wieliczka produced a total of some 200 kilometers (124 miles) of passages as well as 2,040 caverns of varied size. The tourist route starts 64 m (210 ft) deep and ends 135 m (443 ft) below the earth surface, where the world's biggest museum of mining is located with the unique centuries-old equipment among its exhibits. Still below, some 210 m (689 ft) deep, there is a sanatorium for those suffering from asthma and allergy.
As a testament to its historical and artistic importance, the mine has been placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List of sites designated as having ``outstanding universal value to mankind.'' It receives up to a million visitors yearly, most of them during the warmer summer months.
Millions of visitors, the crowned heads and such celebrities as Goethe and Sarah Bernhardt among them, have enthused over that subterranean world of labyrinthine passages, giant caverns, underground lakes and chapels with sculptures in the crystalline salt and rich ornamentation carved in the salt rock.
The largest of the chapels, the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, is located 101 meters (331 ft) below the surface, it is over 50 meters (164 ft) long, 15 meters (49 ft) wide, 12 meters (39 ft) high, with a volume of 10,000 cubic meters (13,080 cubic yards).
MORE: www.wieliczka.com.pl (in English, German and Polish language)
- Pros:The most beautiful nature wonder I have ever seen
- Cons:Rather not for visitors suffering from claustrophobia
- In a nutshell:The mysterious underground world
. Thanks to good friends I was lucky to visit a few places out of the tourist route. To be honest it's not so easy to... more travel advice
. I found a cone imprisoned in salt cone. My guide said that it's the example of flora from Myocene Epoch. I found... more travel advice
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