Wieliczka Salt Mine Situated in the Krakow area.
Wieliczka Coat of Arms
Little known outside Eastern Europe is a small town called Wieliczka,it was founded in the twelfth century by a local Duke to mine the rich deposits of salt that lie beneath. The salt mine was mined until 1996, and in the same time became tourist attraction. The generations of miners did more than just extract salt. They left behind them a breathtaking record of their time underground in the shape of statues of mythic, historical and religious figures. They even created their own chapels in which to pray.
Salt Mine Wieliczka
To get to Wieliczka salt mine from Krakow; the simplest way is to book a tour it's easy, tours are advertised all over the place you'll have to be blind not to see one, and is not expensive around 130 zl (AUD 45). Or you can take local bus number 304, commuter train from the city's central Krakow rail station, or minibus. Ticket to the mine will cost you around 75 zl plus bus ticket around 3 zl roughly you save around 50zl.
Salt Mine Wieliczka
For safety reasons less than one percent of the mine is open to visitors, but even that is still almost four kilometres in length, more than enough to weary the average tourist after an hour or two. The religious carvings are, in reality, what draw many to this mine. The work and patience that must have gone into the creation of these sculptures is extraordinary. It comes as little surprise to learn that the mine was placed on the original list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites back in 1978.
Salt Mine Wieliczka. Underground Cathedral
Miners may have whistled while they did the dirty work but the conditions in the salt mine were far from comfortable and the hours were long – the fact that it was subterranean could hardly have added to the excitement of going to work each morning, but working horses never will come up to see sunlight, bit sad but unfortunately true.