Wieliczka salt mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine – a historic mine inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The current mine was built at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries (the history of mining goes back to antiquity). The Tourist Route leads through the most interesting places in the mine. It consists of 22 chambers, which are connected by pavements with a total length of about 2 km. The chambers are located at depths from 64 to 135 meters. Salt mines can be visited only with a guide in a group of min. 35 people. This place is visited by one million people a year, including about 40% of them foreigners.
The Tourist Trail leads along the Daniłowicz Shaft, and begins in its shaft top, a building currently serving as Cash. From there, tourists go down the stairs to the first chamber, Nicolaus Copernicus.
After the extraction of all salt from the pit, the Nicolaus Copernicus chamber was a place of work for a horse-mill, which dealt with transporting salt from lower to higher levels. Currently, the chamber is “propped up” on wooden logs, and in the center stands a monument to the patron, Copernicus.
Chapel of St. Anthony, the oldest chapel in the mine, to which miners attended the morning mass, built in 1690/1710 in the Baroque style, then restored, because the salt dissolves. There are many salt sculptures in the chapel, and Saint. Antoni is the patron of ore miners.
Janowice Chamber, in 1967 salt sculptures appeared there, which depict the legend of St. Kinga, Bolesław the Chaste and the discovery of salt deposits in Wieliczka in the 13th century.
The Burned Chamber, the name comes from the fire that flared up in this part of the mine, today there are graphic representations of the risks of collapsing and gas explosions in the Wieliczka mine.
Sielec Chamber, exhibition place of former mining means of transport.
Casimir the Great’s chamber, commemorating this Polish king, there is also a horse treadmill.
Kunegunda oblong, there is a model of a Neolithic village, which was located in today’s Wieliczka 5.5 – 3.5 thousand. years ago.
Pieskowa Skała Chamber, descent from level I (63/64 m.), Where the above chambers were located to level II (90 m.). In the central part there is the Krzystofory shaft, in which devices for extracting salt in barrels have been reconstructed, and this chamber has unique viewing qualities.
Transverse Kunegunda, original gutters for draining excess water have survived.
The Kunegunda pit, which transported salt from the lower to the upper levels, in the 1960s dwarfs were placed there, which please the youngest visitors.
Chapel of St. Cross, the second chapel on the route with the nineteenth-century sculpture of the Crucifixion in the central part. Opposite is the baroque figurine of Our Lady of Victory.
Chapel of St. Kingi, the most magnificent and richest underground chapel founded in 1896. Its length up to over 54 m, width 15-18 m and height 10-12 m. The chapel is decorated with a multitude of carvings depicting scenes from the New Testament. The whole chapel is made of salt, interestingly also beautiful chandeliers. A papal cross is placed in front of the main altar. Chapel of St. Kinga is still used, every Sunday morning there are masses.
Erazm Barącz’s chamber has primarily scenic values thanks to a 9-meter-deep lake.
The Michałowice Chamber is a place where the excavation is located, where green salt was mined, characteristic: large chamber dimensions – 35 m high, this forced the construction of large wooden fortifications.
Also in the next, Drozdowice chamber, green salt was mined, there is a monument to two miners from 1967.
The Weimar chamber was created as a result of the extraction of green salt by a mechanical method, a small, salt lake is characteristic. The chamber also has spa functions.
Józef Piłsudzki’s chamber, with his monument, another green salt extraction point. Between the two parts of the chamber there is a 10-meter tunnel in which tourist cruises take place.
Stanisław Staszic’s chamber, which in 1944 the Nazis wanted to transform into assembly parts for aircraft, but stopped them from retiring.
The Treasurer is a salt figure from 1968 that depicts a “good spirit” in which miners believed.
Next is the Entertainment, Sports and Gastronomy Center. It consists of the Warsaw chamber, currently used for cultural purposes, the Witold Burdyk chamber – today a restaurant and the Wisła chamber, where groups are gathered to visit the Krakow Saltworks Museum.
However, if someone does not want to go to a restaurant, they can go down from the Treasurer to the lowest level on the Prinzinger Ramp. Going towards the shaft, tourists pass Jan Haluszka’s chamber closed for tourist traffic, it organizes various conferences in which the highest personalities including presidents are hosted.
Chapel of st. John considered to be the most beautiful wooden chapel, from 1859 to 1896 (until the construction of the chapel of St. Kinga) served as the main temple in the mine. This was the ceremonial service. The current place, however, is not original, it was originally on the first level at a depth of 64 meters, but it was moved to the third level, thus saving it from destruction.