The Wieliczka Salt Mines is one of the oldest salt mining companies in the world. It is also very popular with tourists due to its chapel and statues.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The site’s address is Danilowicza Street 10, 32-020 Krakow, Poland. It is inside the Krakow metro area in Wieliczka. You can take the buses at Starowislna Street. The trip will take about 40 minutes. Note that these are public buses, not a tour bus. But there are also tourist buses that can take you directly to the site.
What to See There
The salt mine reaches a depth of 327 m and stretches for 300 km. The touring route stretches for 3.5 km. This route allows visitors to see mythical figures and historic statues.
The oldest sculptures and structures were created by the miners. The newer sculptures in the Wieliczka Salt Mines were made by modern craftsmen. The crystal-like chandeliers in the site are actually constructed from rock.
The salt mine began producing table salt in the 13th century up to 2007. The commercial mining aspect ended in 1996 resulting from mine flooding and low prices. But it remains a vey popular tourist attraction. The mine has been under UNESCO protection since 1976. During World War II, the complex was utilized by the Germans to produce war materials.
Throughout its long history, several famous people have visited the site. Among them were Alexander von Humboldt, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nicolaus Copernicus, former US President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II.
The entrance fee is 50 Polish zloty. There is an extra charge of 10 zloty if you want to take photos.
The rocks in the salt mines are grey. That is the reason why some of the carvings appear a bit unpolished. When you reach the end of the tour you will see the reception room and cathedral. This area can be used for parties or weddings.
The Wieliczka Salt Mines tours are conducted in English. There are also pamphlets available. However, you can also go there independently.