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Wieliczka Salt Mine

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HISTORY

This salt mine has been active since the 13th century and produced table salt until 2007, being one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Its activities were momentarily interrupted in 1996, due to the fall in salt prices and floods. It reaches 327 meters in depth and extends horizontally for more than 287 kilometers. Its attractions include a three and a half km long visitor route (less than 2% of the total length of its labyrinthine tunnels), an underground lake, an exhibition on the history of salt mining, four chapels, numerous sculpted statues by miners in rock salt and more recent sculptures by contemporary artists, as well as a reception room that is used for private events, including weddings.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

Surreal place. Created in the 13th century it was one of the places with the highest production of table salt in the world. It is one of the oldest mines in the world. It is also one of the largest. Charming and welcoming, the mine is not claustrophobic and is well ventilated. Consisting of chapels carved in the salt, an underground lake, shops and even a museum. Something completely different. There are more than 100 floors and hundreds of kilometers underground. To return to the ground, the miners elevator is used. Exciting. There are no limits to the beauty that can be created in these environments that are already exciting in themselves. A wedding in these mines can literally be "fairy tale".

CURIOSITIES

• During the Nazi Occupation, thousands of Jews were transported from the Plaszow and Mielec labor camps to the Wieliczka mine to work in the underground armaments factory that the Germans had set up at the site.
• Among the most famous visitors to this place are Nicolau Copérnico, Goethe, Chopin, Paderewski, Robert Baden-Powell and Jacob Bronowski (who filmed segments of the film The Ascentof Man at the mine), Karol Wojtyła (future Pope John Paul II) and the former President of the United States Bill Clinton.
• It is currently one of Poland's official Historical National Monuments and in 1978 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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