Do you know that Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the most visited tourist sites in Poland, and at the same time, continuously since the Middle Ages, an active mining plant? In the past, it was from here that salt was supplied to almost all European countries. Inscribed on the UNESCO list in 1978, it is now a historic heritage site where you can reach not only the mining traditions, but also slightly unique culture and art.
The history of Wieliczka salt
The rock salt deposit in Wieliczka was established 15 million years ago as a result of sedimentation of the Miocene Sea sediments and formation by tectonic orogenic movements of the Carpathians. The local inhabitants were already involved in acquiring salt in prehistoric times. Later, it constituted the economic and economic basis, serving as a means of payment. It was used to preserve meat, butter, fish, tan hides and even produce gunpowder. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest rock salt mines in the world. According to historical documents, salt mining existed in these areas already during the reign of Bolesław the Brave in the years 995-1025. In 1996, the extraction of the deposit was completely stopped, but miners still have a lot of work to do, securing the chambers and corridors created underground, protecting the historic sites from the effects of centuries of intensive exploitation.
What awaits tourists?
For over 700 years of salt deposit exploitation, 9 levels have been dug, with as many as 2,391 chambers and over 245 kilometers of passages. Below the surface, many attractions created by nature and man await tourists – the famous Chapels of St Kinga and St Antoni, the Pieskowa Skała Chamber, monumental carpentry structures, beautiful decorations, sculptures and bas-reliefs made of salt, as well as three salt lakes. The unique microclimate of the mine, with a high content of sodium chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium, has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
10 Daniłowicza Street
+48 12 278 73 02