The photographs of nature are among the most beautiful; however, it is worth keeping in mind that the beauty of nature is not only what we see on the surface of the earth – it also encompasses the amazing places hidden deep underground, invisible to the human eyes. The “Wieliczka” Salt Mine is one of such places. Can you take amazing pictures of nature in there? Certainly!
Many photographers love taking artistic pictures of nature – and it is no wonder why, after all, nature is made up of so many things, that the possibilities are almost endless. We can photograph beautiful landscapes, take macro photographs of colourful plants, landscapes with azure lake waters and waterfalls, which showcase the might of water.
Of course, what is below the ground – caves and their systems – is no less important or beautiful. In more or less spacious underground halls, you can usually find various types of rock formations, including stalagmites or stalactites, as well as water reservoirs. Underground nature can be impressive, especially if it is properly illuminated.
If you are interested in nature photography, a visit to the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine will be a great idea. Of course, you may be asking yourself, what do mine and nature have in common? The pictures in this article should be the best answer. In various chambers, you can admire not only salt workings and sculptures made by miners, but also beautiful salt stains and an underground lake.
Secondary crystallisation salts are the true wonder of nature: they can be found in various places in the mine, including the Kunegunda Shaft Pit, which features dwarf figures imitating the appearance of old miners. The most common formations of secondary crystallisation salts include speleothems and stalactites. Some thick, fluffy and spongy growths were called “cauliflowers”, while thin and delicate stalactites are referred to as “pasta” by miners. What is more, while exploring the mine, you can also see fibrous salt crystals referred to as “St Kinga’s hair”.
One of the most beautiful places in the mine is the underground lake located in the Erazm Barącz Chamber, which has been open to tourists for more than a hundred years. The reservoir, which we can admire underground is a 9-metre deep brine lake. The lake is full of brine, which contains 320 grams of salt per a litre of water – as a result, the water is very dense, up to a third more than fresh water. Thanks to its lighting, the chamber and its lake make a truly spectacular impression.
Touring the mine along the Tourist Route is an ideal opportunity to take beautiful photographs. The trail leads through more than 20 salt chambers connected by winding galleries and numerous stairs, more than 800 along the way! Choosing this option gives everybody a chance to visit all the most important and beautiful places in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine.
The tour along the Tourist Route takes about two hours and the participants cover the distance of about 3 kilometres. Interestingly, tourists go really deep underground – some of the chambers and galleries are located as deep as 135 meters below the surface.
Of course, a visit to the Wieliczka mine is not only a chance to take beautiful pictures, but also an opportunity to learn about the history of salt mining and interesting trivia about mining itself. It is also worth noting that the tours always take place under the supervision of expert guides, who are passionate about the mine, salt and its legends. They are also eager to answer all the questions asked by the tourists. Without a doubt, a visit to Wieliczka can be an inspiring experience – not only for photography enthusiasts.