The Wieliczka Salt Mine (Poland) is a rock salt mine in the town of Wieliczka, it is the only mining site in the world that has operated continuously since the 13th to the 20th century.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine consists of corridors and galleries of a total length of about 300 km, located on nine levels and reaching a depth of 327 m. Tourist routes include about twenty different chambers and chapels located in it. It illustrates all the stages in the development of salt mining methods and technology over seven centuries. To get the latest stories, install our app here.
Since 1978 the mine has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For 900 years, salt has been extracted in Wieliczka. And the mine became a tourist site in the 15th century – three thousand underground chambers, formed after the extraction, have always attracted tourists. In the 18th century, the first fully-fledged tourist route was opened in the mine, and since then, it has been visited by about one million people annually.
Dangerous mining occupation and piety of people in those days served as an occasion for building chapels under the ground in which divine services were held, but in the seventeenth century one of such chapels was burnt out, and the royal commission forbade using inflammable materials in the mine. And thanks to this prohibition, the original tradition of salt carving was born here. To get the latest stories, install our app here
So at one time, the miners created the whole underground kingdom here. Corridors and passages connect big and small halls. Statues, walls, figures, beautifully carved chandeliers – all made of salt.
On the lowest level, the third, open to tourists, is the lake. If you are lucky, you can take a boat ride there. After visiting the mines, Wieliczka promises a lot of impressions and longevity. It is useful to breathe in salt.
Already in the XVI century were noticed the healing properties of salt. Their active use began in 1826 when the treatment with salt baths began.