Monday, July 25, 2011

A Salty Affair


Before we went to Poland, a Polish friend highly recommended that we visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is 17 km from Krakow. This salt mine is one of the world's oldest operating salt mines. This historical site is listed as one of Unesco's Cultural and Natural Heritage sites and salt production started in the Middle Ages and has not stopped since. It was considered a privilege to work in the salt mines and over time, many sculptures were made purely out of salt. In fact, there is a whole chapel in the mine that is made out of salt! There are apparently around 200 km of passages and tourists start their salty adventure 64 metres deep and end their journey 135 metres below sea level! The Nazi occupation of Poland did not stop the workers from mining salt and it continued till today.

We took a bus from Krakow and the ride took about 30 minutes. Be sure to get there early because it can get quickly crowded. There are group tours in different languages conducted by professional guides who are very smartly dressed. Our guide was a young Polish lady who very nicely explained the history of the mine and escorted us all the way through!

Here's the entrance of the mine. Check out the flights of stairs we had to take to go down!


Check out all this salt!

I loved these beautiful salt statues!


What a beautiful salt chapel! Even the chandeliers are made out of salt!


And wouldn't Leonardo da Vinci be proud to see his Last Supper in salt? :)

1 comments:

David said...

The only thing missing in the salt mine is the pepper to spice it up ;-) Amazing to see the artistic work done by the miners during their free time.

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