"Salt mines" Wieliczka Salt Mine Tip by smirnofforiginal
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow: 74 reviews and 182 photos
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a subterranean labyrinth, recognised for it's unique character and beauty by UNESCO in 1978 and by Poland as a Polish historica monument in 1994.. This is a must go see... you will not be disappointed!
Nature created Wieliczka about 20million years ago. In the 7 centuries of mining, 7.5 million cubic metres of salt have been extracted!
The miners work was very dangerous, with 10% of the work force falling victim to accidents. As a result the miners were deeply religious and soon crosses were erected where fellow miners perished and chapels were constructed underground with complete services held. Then in 1697 there was a fire & a royal commission forbade them to furnish chapels with inflammable pictures & statues etc... And this is how and why the amazing salt sculpting was started.
The sculptures were all self taught and the work they produced is just astonishing. The greatest piece is the Chapel of St. Kinga. It is carved 101m underground, with sweeping staircases, grand alter, and religious reliefs...
There are underground lakes and cystalssalt stalactites and stalagmites - the natural beauty together with the works of art produced by the sculptures make this a simply incredible and amazing place.
The guide we had was very informative and friendly and had a great sense of humour... it was one of the best tours I have had.
NB It should be noted that there is a LOT of stairs in this mine and quite a bit of walking. We had a 2 month old and a 20 month old to carry about and we shared this job between 4 adults - it was exhausting! To get back to the top, at the end, there is an old, miners lift which, due to the children, they let us use - it was VERY small and VERY claustrophobic and unpleasent and we were packed in like sardines. BUT Wieliczka was worth the hard work.
Directions: We hired a car with a driver to take us to, wait and then take us back from the mines. It was relatively cheap to do this and was certainly very convenient.
Phone: +48 12 278 73 02
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