Wieliczka Salt Mine: Krakow

Salt Mine Krakow

WIELICZKA SALT MINE in Krakow will amaze you, as you go beneath the earth!

Krakow, Poland is an amazing city and I believe it is the #1 most underrated city in Europe. I won’t go into the details of the lavender growing along the old city walls or the shapes of the trees that blow in the wind or even the cobblestone central square, but I do want to tell you about an unusual place found deep within its crevices. It is known as the Salt Mine Krakow and is 1073 feet deep. The salt mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007 and was one of the world’s oldest salt mines in operation until that time. It was deemed a UNESCO world heritage site in 1978.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mines Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

Entrance to Krakow Salt Mine

It is ironic that this place is named Krakow, as you go down, down, down into the “crack” of the earth by walking the 378 steps that take you to its entrance.  Don’t worry about climbing those stairs back up as you get to take the elevator! It is not fancy, but you will appreciate it later when coming out of the salt mine Krakow.

Salt Mines Krakow

Salt Mine Krakow

Salt Mine Krakow

What to Expect:

They have English speaking tour guides that help you understand what the salt miners did while underneath the earth on a daily basis. It truly is remarkable how this mine was created.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

Once underground, you will learn about its history and the business of salt mining. In 1996 they turned this working salt mine into a tourist attraction. Townspeople, as well as tourist have been fascinated by the art that was created underneath the earth by these miners. That is now the number one reason to visit the salt mines, to look at its art. It has literally dozens of statues, an underground lake, three chapels and an entire cathedral carved out of rock salt.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

The rock salt is naturally grey in various shades, resembling unpolished granite rather than the white or crystalline look that many tourist may expect.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

The highlight is the Chapel of St. Kinga, a cavernous underground hall.

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

This entire room and all of the art in it is carved salt!

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Krakow, Poland

Salt Mine Krakow

Even the chandeliers are made of rock salt!

And the glow of the crystal chandeliers illuminates on the intricately carved floor. It is quite stunning to see.

The Chapel of St. Kinga is located  at approximately 331 feet below ground!  It is 101 feet x 50 feet in size, and its floor area is of 5005 square feet. Its splendors make it the perfect location for a christening, a wedding, or a music concert and can hold up to 400 people.

Another article about Krakow:

A Less Visited European Destination That is Worth the Trip

A happy and amusing Day Trip from Krakow

2018-01-30T07:28:55+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Tomek July 16, 2015 at 5:05 am

    I was in Wieliczka Salt Mine 2 weeks ago. For me it’s the most stunning place in Poland. I like your photos and description, thank you for sharing this.

    • Cacinda Maloney July 16, 2015 at 10:32 am

      Cool! I can’t wait to go back to Poland! Loved it there, I think it is one of the most under-rated cities in the world.

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