See the priceless monument of world material culture, entered in 1978 on the First UNESCO World Heritage List.
Did you know that the mine is so huge that you can visit only 2% of the salt labyrinth?
The Mine in numbers:
Over more than 700 years, 26 shafts were struck in Wieliczka and 9 million m³ of post-excavation voids were drilled
More about the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine
History of the Mine
The history of Wieliczka dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was proudly named the Magnum Sal – the Great Salt. In the 13th century it was known as the largest source of salt in Poland, and over the years it became crucial for the country’s economy.
The picturesque underground landscapes owe their beauty to nature, which sculpted the rocks in unusual, varied and complicated forms. Did you know that the Wieliczka Salt Mine has a unique geological structure, not found anywhere else in the world?
Deep underground, there is a salt labyrinth! If you don’t know the way, you could easily get lost forever... The underground is measured and described by creating underground maps so you can always find the way in this endless maze of drifts, crosscuts and ramps.
Deep underground, you can admire the unusual salt landscapes, the impressive size of the workings, salt rocks of various kinds, salt lakes and works of art created by sculptor miners.... There are more than 2,000 chambers in the Mine, but you won’t find two identical ones!
Every day, several hundred miners work hard underground and on the surface to ensure that the huge salt labyrinth survives the centuries to come and continues to enthrall visitors from all over the world. New attractions for visitors are also constantly being created.
It is said that fresh water is the source of life. That’s true, but... not in the underground spaces of the Mine. In the land of salt, fresh water is a dangerous element and a powerful force that must be constantly controlled. Directing water to the saltworks is one way.
Deep underground, in corridors where tourists do not wander, the whole mine is shrouded in darkness. Miners wander through dark corridors, illuminating their way with the light of lamps. Where do they get the lamps from? From the lamp room, of course. This is where they are stored, repaired and maintained!
Look up! There are trousers, shirts and shoes hanging high up under the ceiling. Miners’ clothes are hung on chains, the chains are attached to hooks, and all of this six meters above the ground. Do you know what this place is? Yes, it’s a mining locker room! But why does it look like that?
While you visit interesting places in Krakow, keep the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine in mind. It is a historical site that for centuries has delighted tourists visiting unique tourist attractions in Poland.