Wieliczka Salt Mines

Salt rock sculpture at WieliczkaThe Wieliczka Salt Mine, located just outside Krakow, has been worked as a source of rock salt since the late 13th century.

The mine consists of over 200 km of underground passages.Over the centuries, miners have established a tradition of carving sculptures out of the native rock salt. As a result, the mine contains entire underground churches, altars, bas-reliefs, and dozens of life-size or larger statues.

It also houses an underground museum and has a number of special purpose chambers such as a sanatorium for people suffering from respiratory ailments. The largest of the chapels, the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, is located 101 meters below the surface, it is over 50 meters long, 15 meters wide, 12 meters high, with a volume of 10,000 cubic meters.

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.

The Wieliczka Salt Mines provide a unique experience that should not be missed.

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