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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


Medina of Fez

Fez is the ancient capital of Morocco, an Imperial city and has retained its status as the country’s cultural and spiritual centre.. Fortress of Bjorn Nord in Fez The Medina has been founded around the 9th century by Idriss II.  It started as a small Berber village,  soon joined by families fleeing Spain and Tunisia.Street in Medina

It also houses the oldest University of Al-Karaouine and with a total population of 156,000, is also believed to be the biggest car-free urban area in the world.

The Medina has been listed UNESCO World site heritage in 1981.

The Medina counts  more than 9,000 streets and dead ends.  The streets in these areas are very narrow, and for obviouse reasons, car free.  But not donkey-free, or motorcyle-free.

Fez, Medina13,380 historic buildings have been listed and with 10,539 retail businesses, it remains the prime commercial centre in Fez.

The entire city is  surrounded by high walls. To enter the medina, you need to go trough historic city gates.

There is only one large public square, located near the geographic center of the medina. This area gives access to buses, trucks, taxis, and some private cars.

There are several other gates open to road traffic, but these roads penetrate the medina only a short distance and end at a parking area.

Golden Gates of Palais Royal

Royal Palace of Fez Royal Palace in Fez

The palace is located in Fes Jdid quarter.  It has an area size of 80 hectares, and is known for the brass gate ornamented with tilework and carved cedar woods.  It is not accessible to the public.

The Blue Gate (Bab Boujeloud)

The Blue Gate is the most iconic gate to the old medina. Blue Gate Blue Gate Market The Medina
Resources Wikipedia BBC Travel story National Geographic
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