Wieliczka Salt Mine - Sleep In One Of The Oldest Mines In The WorldWieliczka  
Salt Mine

The salt mine in Wieliczka is a significant tourist attraction and is visited yearly by over a million people. Operation of the mine ceased in 1996, after over 750 years of continuous operation.

It's one of Europe's oldest salt mines and consists of a labyrinth of tunnels of over 124 miles (200 km) spread on nine floors. The deepest is 1,073 feet (327 meters) underground.

In 1978, the salt mine and the old town of Kraków became one of the first of twelve UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 2013, the salt mine in the town of Bochnia, 16 miles (25 km) east of Wieliczka, was also listed.

There is also the opportunity to see the post office, the church, and the sports hall. Thanks to the unique microclimate in the mine, it is also a treatment center for asthma patients.

You can also stay at Wieliczka Salt Mine's Health Resort, 443 feet (135 meters) underground. The clean air is filled with healthy minerals, which promote physical and mental well-being.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

To marvel at the many underground highlights, such as the Kinga Chapel or one of the salt lakes, you need to descend into a world that has been skilfully decorated over the centuries.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Corridor

The tourist route down into the mine takes 800 steps, and you will come back up with an elevator.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Tunnel

Only about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) of the 124 miles (200 km) of mining tunnels are open to tourists.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Salty Tunnel

You will get to see how the workers carved statues, chapels, and artificial lakes in the salt rocks.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Doors

Metal is unsuitable for the mine's salty climate, so wooden beams support the corridors.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Nicolaus Copernicus Chamber

The mine in Wieliczka has been partially converted into a museum, with salt sculptures carved out by former miners.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Nicolaus Copernicus Statue

A tour of the salt mine takes 2 to 3 hours.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Is Deep And Dark.

The mine is divided into nine levels ranging from 2,100 (64) to 449 feet (137 meters) in depth. You are allowed to visit the top three levels.

Wieliczka Salt Mine St. Kinga's Chapel

The Legend of Princess Kinga

In such a place surrounded by mystery, there are many legends. The best known is about the Hungarian princess Kinga, who named the magnificent Kinga Chapel.

She was promised in 1239 at the age of five to Bolesław V the Chaste, Duke of Kraków. Their wedding took place seven years later.

As part of her dowry, she asked her father, King Bela IV of Hungary and Croatia, not for gold or an army of servants but for salt to give to her new homeland. The monarch gave her the salt mine Maramureș in Transylvania, then part of Hungary. Before leaving, Kinga threw her engagement ring into the depths of a shaft.

She took well-trained Hungarian miners to Poland and tasked them with finding salt near Krakow. This is when they found Wieliczka, and the first thing they dug contained the ring Kinga had thrown into the Hungarian mine.

Kinga, canonized by Pope John Paul II (who was raised in Wadowice, not far from Krakow) in 1999, is still the patron saint of Polish miners.

Incidentally, the nearby salt mine of Bochnia also has a legend about Kinga.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Erazm Baracz Statue

The impressively decorated King's Chapel is also located in this salt mine. The chapel, which is 331 feet (101 meters) underground, measures 177 feet (54 meters) x 56 feet (17 meters) and is 39 feet (12 meters) high. It's the perfect place for significant events, for example, weddings.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Steep Staircase

The temperature underground in the mine is 63-64 Fahrenheit or 17–18 degrees Celsius.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Deep Chamber

The deepest point during the tour is 449 feet (137 meters) underground.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Resort

The mine welcomed the first tourists at the end of the eighteenth century. At that time, visitors were no ordinary people but noblemen, statesmen, and scientists.

Visiting Wieliczka used to be very different back in those times. Then, visitors descended stairs with the help of candles, accompanied by an orchestra composed of miners.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Resort Activity

Wieliczka Salt Mine Reading Balconies

Wieliczka Salt Mine Restaurant

Wieliczka Salt Mine Sleeping Chamber

The basic but cozy compartments of the Health Resort 443 feet (135 meters) underground offer a healthy stay filled with salty air.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Eastern Mountain Stable Chamber

Daniłowicza 10, 32-020, Wieliczka, Poland