Secrets of Wieliczka Salt Mine

Posted by Karolina Tuminauskaitė  |  July 12, 2017

The unique Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest mines in the world, which is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is famous of its salty structure, underground lakes and chapels. It is known that the work of underground caves started back in the 13th century and it’s incredible that mines have been functional ever since.

About the numbers

The regular tourist route involves 800 steps on the way, including 380 right at the start. Sometimes people get a little bit dizzy, because of going down and down by round stairs until they reach 135 meters below the surface. But don‘t worry, you don‘t have to climb the stairs all the way up, visitors return to the surface by lift.

The salt mine total length is 245 km. It consists more than 2000 chambers that are connected by corridors and labyrinths. All this is situated on 9 levels at the depth ranging from 64 to 327 meters.

Inside Wieliczka Salt Mine

Down the mine

Remarkable underground secrets are hidden in the unique salt interior of the mine. The path leads through magnificent chambers and amazing sculptures that are all carved out of salt, depicting stories and legends.

There are displays that tell stories of hard working minors who dig this place with their own hands. Also great polish royal history including big names such as Fryderyk Chopin, Mikołaj Kopernik and King Casimir the Great who ruled in the 14th century.

Highlight of the visit

The biggest visitors’ attraction is St. Kinga’s Chapel. People say that this is a real highlight of the tour. St. Kinga’s Chapel is inseparable from the legend about Princess Kinga and how she brought the salt treasure to polish land.

According to the legend Hungarian Princes Kinga was about to get married to Prince of Krakow Boleslaw, but she accidently dropped her engagement ring into Hungary’s salt mines. When drilling started in Wieliczka, miners found not only salt but the engagement ring itself.

Incredible thing is that all the details in this chapel, even the smallest are made out of salt. It’s almost impossible to believe until you see it with your own eyes – even the crystals of chandeliers hanging in the chapel are not vitreous. Guess what is it? Yes, it’s also salt, you got it right.

St. Kinga's Chapel

If you are interested in visiting Poland and Wieliczka Salt Mine go to our page for more information.