Wandering along the remarkably beautiful undergrounds of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine…
Wieliczka is a small town located only over a dozen kilometers from Krakow, however is known not less than the old Polish castle town. All this thanks to the 700-year-old, historic salt mine, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the all-Polish poll of „Rzeczpospolita” – a prestigious journal with many years of tradition, Wieliczka was considered one of the seven wonders of Poland, winning the largest number of votes. A network of low corridors, salt sculptures, crystal caves and an underground lake give the mine an atmosphere of a mysterious, fairy-tale world and make it unique on a global scale.
Most visitors come to Wieliczka due to the mines themselves. However, if we have enough time, we can walk around the Market Square, visiting the classicist church of St. Klemensa, a larch church dedicated to Saint. Sebastian, the Great Magistrate erected in the English neo-Gothic style, the Saltworks Castle – the former seat of the board of the Mine, and former palaces. Wieliczka has two parks – one is a hotel, and the Upper and Lower Market Square. There are also three closed synagogues in the city, reminding about the times when a large Jewish community lived in Wieliczka. The biggest attraction is the salt mine and it is the one that determines the main direction of sightseeing.
Due to the high tourist traffic, Wieliczka has an extensive gastronomic base, and many taverns and restaurants are located a short distance from the mine. In the Grand Sal Hotel you can enjoy a traditional Polish meal served in an elegant environment. As part of exploring the mine, you can also treat yourself to the unique opportunity to have lunch or dinner 125 meters underground, in a restaurant created in one of the mining chambers.
As part of exploring the mine, there are several routes to choose from, the most popular are the tourist route and the mining route. It’s best to talk with an experienced guide who will show you the one that best suits your needs and physical abilities. The monumental Chapel of St. Kinga, with the salt art departments decorating her. Salt crystals look like real ore, which shines in stifled light of lamps. Going down to the huge salt lake, visitors experience an extraordinary spectacle of lights, to Fryderyk Chopin playing in the background. The popular sightseeing route runs through a number of mining chambers, up to the Krakow Saltworks Museum, where you can see the original tools and get to know better the reality of miners who have been extracting salt from underground deposits for hundreds of years.
Wieliczka is a very popular destination for tourists stopping in Krakow. For those who want to experience a unique adventure, we suggest combining a mine tour with accommodation 125 and respectively 135 meters underground, in one of the specially adapted halls. The microclimate of the mine guarantees healthy sleep and regeneration of the body, increases resistance and allows you to cut yourself off from everyday life. The mine has a medical library, a graduation tower and exercise equipment, so time spent underground can be very constructively used.
The easiest form of travel is to reach Wieliczka from Krakow, about 15 km away from it. You can get to it by train, city bus or private car, which guarantees access to the Mine itself.
The mine is visited by walking, however the intensity of the route may be adapted to the condition and possibilities of visitors. Some sections are adapted for moving on a wheelchair, however, due to the specific construction of the mine, it was not possible to implement such modifications everywhere. Persons with limited mobility should consult their mine visit plan in advance to make sure that the proposed route is optimal for their possibilities.
Wieliczka is the perfect place for you if:
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