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Wieliczka Salt Mine – Poland

Wieliczka Salt Mine, entrance

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is in the town of Wieliczka, southern Poland, and lies within the Kraków metropolitan area.
Sodium chloride (table salt) had been produced there from the upwelling brine since Neolithic times.
The Wieliczka salt mine, excavated from the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest operating salt mines.
Commercial salt mining discontinued in 1996 due to falling salt prices and mine flooding.

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The Wieliczka Salt Mine is now an official Polish Historic Monument.  It is often referred to as “Poland’s Underground Salt Cathedral”.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, stairs

There are 800 steps to climb of which 350 at the beginning, which take you down into the mine.
The Mine reaches down 327 meters and extends in horizontal levels for over 287 kilometers.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, St Kingas Chapel

The Wieliczka Salt Mine  attractions include the shafts and labyrinthine passageways, displays of historic salt-mining technology, an underground lake, four chapels and numerous statues carved by miners out of the rock salt, and more recent sculptures by contemporary artists.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, autel
Wieliczka Salt Mine, statue
Wieliczka Salt Mine, chemin de croix
Wieliczka Salt Mine, nativite
Wieliczka Salt Mine, chapelle
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Chandelier

Even the chandelier crystals are made from rock salt dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance.

The mine also houses a private rehabilitation and wellness complex.

In 1978 it was placed on the original UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites


Krakow -Poland

Krakow, Poland

Krakow, View

Second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland, situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, Karkow dates back to the 7th century.
Krakow was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life.
As one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, along with Wavel Castle and the Kazimierz district.
In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II — the first Slavic pope ever, and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

Krakow, Rynek and Sukiennice

Rynek (meaning “market” in Polish) is the principal urban space located at the center of the city.
It dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe.

Krakow, Eros Bendato
Krakow, caleche

The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice), rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style.
On one side of the cloth hall is the Town Hall Tower and rising above the square are the Gothic towers of St. Mary’s Basilica.
Sukiennice hosts craft shops and collections of the museum of fine arts devoted to the late 19th century.

Krakow, Poland
Krakow, main square
Krakow, St Mary's Basilica

Saint Mary’s Basilica is a brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square.
Built in the 14th century, its foundations date back to the early 13th century and serve as one of the best examples of Polish Gothic architecture.
Saint Mary’s Basilica also served as an architectural model for many of the churches that were built by the Polish diaspora abroad.

Krakow, St Mary's Basilica, night

Wavel Castle

Krakow, Wavel Castle

The Wawel Castle is a castle residency located in central Krakow, Poland.
The castle, being one of the largest in Poland, represents nearly all European architectural styles of medieval, renaissance and baroque periods.
In 1978 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Historic Centre of Krakow.


Krakow, Wavel Castle 2
Krakow, along the Vistula
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