g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Polish Culture Site

BellaOnline's Polish Culture Editor


The Salt Mine in Wieliczka

Guest Author - Barbara Swiech

The most famous salt mine of Poland is situated in a small town Wieliczka nearby Krakow (south of the country). The site was placed on the UNESCO’s First World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1978.
There is an easy access to the town – as public and private transport is available from Krakow. The cheapest way to get there is to take the mini van (leaving from the centre of Krakow) that reaches either the centre of Wieliczka or the very salt mine. On the spot one can purchase guided tours around the site – as sightseeing without the guide is not allowed.
The history of the Wieliczka Salt Mine is connected with Hungarian princess – Blessed Kinga. According to the legend she threw her ring into the salt mine in Marmaros (Hungary) when departing to Poland to get married into Polish Royalty. On the way to Krakow she stopped and asked her servants to dig a well in a given place but instead of water her ring was found – in a lump of salt. Indeed, the history of the salt mine in Wieliczka goes back to Middle Ages when the salt was used as a mean of payment. In 14th century the salt mine brought about 30% of the total income of the state.
In 18th century the restorative and tourist capacities of the salt mine were discovered and soon after the brine baths in Wieliczka began to be used as a form of treatment. The fresh air of the salt mine is said to cure the respiratory system diseases – therefore the site serves as sanatorium and people spend there nights to experience wonders of salt air.
Apart from the good influence on health, people discovered the site as a tourist attraction. Famous people – as Chopin, Copernicus or Geothe – have visited in the past Wieliczka Salt Mine, that is now open to wider audience. The route leads you through tunnels – but each tourist must first walk down 380 steps only to get there. The biggest attractions of the site are chapels – with St Kinga’s as the most popular among them. Its decorative walls are covered with illustrations of the scenes from the Bible. The chamber is lit by chandeliers made of crystalline. The dimensions of the chapel might be a surprise too. On the way you will see many sculptures carved in salt – as bringing down the wooden ones was not allowed due to fire danger. The miners, who became more religious due to work in constant danger, would make the statues for their own, personal use.
Green lakes, that you can admire during your tour, used to be available for a boat trip – due to the tragic accident, that took place many years ago, this part of the Salt Mine tour was closed for tourist.
The whole tour lasts about 2 hours – and at the end of it you will reach shop area, museum and larger rooms were from time to time football matches are played or New Year’s Eve is celebrated. You will be taken back upstairs by a lift.
Although situated outside of Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine is a must see of the city. It is not a pure tourist attraction but also a witness of history and changes in development of salt mining. However, one things is sure – nowhere else you will find a place like this!
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Twitter Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Facebook Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to MySpace Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Digg The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Yahoo My Web Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Google Bookmarks Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Stumbleupon Add The+Salt+Mine+in+Wieliczka to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Polish Culture Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Barbara Swiech. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Barbara Swiech. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Old Good Marriage, sung Polish poetry

In Darkness, a film review

Bolek and Lolek cartoon

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor