This Salt Mine In Poland Is Full Of Intricate Carvings, Sculptures, And Chandeliers Made Of Salt

Published 4 years ago

When you think about salt mines, you probably imagine a bunch of sweaty men pushing mine carts full of salt in a dark and damp cave, and luxurious halls and chandeliers are probably the last thing that comes to your mind. Well, this salt mine in Poland is about to change your mind.

The Wieliczka salt mine, located in Krakow, Poland, and opened all the way back in the 13th century, contains around 2,000 chambers, many of which are decorated with intricate carvings, sculptures, and even chandeliers made of salt. Not only that, the mine reaches as deep as -1,072 ft (326,7 m) and features multiple lakes. In fact, the mine is so unique, it was even placed on the original UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites back in 1978.

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Back in the Middle Ages, the mine used to be called Magnum Sal (Great Salt). Between 300 and 350 miners worked there and it was the largest source of salt in all of Poland, producing 7 to 8 tons of salt every year. Nowadays the Wieliczka salt mine is a popular tourist attraction, visited by millions every year. It is said that the very first tourist was Nicolaus Copernicus himself and there’s even a salt statue commemorating this event.


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To many people’s surprise, the miners still work there to this day, although the type of work is a little different. They are protecting the historic areas of the mine, backfilling the voids left from mining in non-historical parts, and managing fresh water leaks.

There are 9 floors in the mine and the tourist route stretches 2,17 mi (3,5 km), however despite its vast size, only 2% of the mine is available to tourists.


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