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One of Europe’s oldest industrial enterprises, in continuous operation since the 13th century, is the Wieliczka Salt Mine. A great resource of wealth for Poland for centuries, it is now considered to be one of the best-known and most willingly visited tourist attractions in the country. 
Wieliczka salt mine / © Polish Tourist OrganisationBochnia salt mineBochnia salt mine
Bochnia salt mineWieliczka salt mine - chapel / © Polish Tourist OrganisationWieliczka salt mine / © Polish Tourist Organisation
Wieliczka salt mine / © Polish Tourist OrganisationWieliczka salt mine - concert / © Polish Tourist OrganisationWieliczka salt mine / © Polish Tourist Organisation
Seven hundred years of uninterrupted exploitation of the local rock salt deposits resulted in the creation of a labyrinth of 2000 chambers and tunnels, about 300km in length, distributed over nine levels, the deepest being a staggering 327m underground.  The tourist route is 3.5km long and leads through over twenty chambers and chapels. Beautifully decorated chapels, charming underground lakes and well-preserved traces of mining operations give visitors a good idea of how the mine has functioned throughout the ages. The miners of Wieliczka have adorned that eerie world of pits and chambers, all hewn out by hand from solid salt, with statues, monuments and bas-reliefs. The underground chambers of the Wieliczka Salt Mine host a number of different events, including conferences, banquets, weddings, New-Year’s balls, sports contests, miners’ orchestra concerts, and shows of carving in salt. Deep in the mine, a unique, underground sanatorium has been established, where chronic allergic diseases are treated. There’s a Salt Mine Museum in the local castle near the mine, which has exhibits on the archaeology and history of the region. Part of its permanent collection is displayed in the underground rooms and in the castle chambers. The exhibition includes unique mining machinery and facilities used for vertical and horizontal transportation of salt. There is also a display of handiworks related to the mine’s past, made by artisans.

The historical Zone of the Bochnia Salt Mine includes 9 levels of underground tunnels and 3 mine shafts:  Sutoris (mid 13’th century), Campi (16’th century) and Trinitatis (beginning of 20’th century).   A precious legacy of the spirituality of Bochnia miners are the underground chapels and places or worship.   Bochnia, similar to Wieliczka has it’s underground rehabilitation center and is also used as a unique venue for prestigious events.

The easiest way of getting to Wieliczka from Kraków’s centre is by suburban train or minibus.


Wieliczka Salt Mine and Bohnia Salt Mine: Location

Poland GPS latitude/longitude: 49.98478 , 20.04730


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