19 June 2016

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka salt mine just beside Krakow was quite interesting place to visit. It is protected by Unesco like the old center of Krakow. And only 80 km from there you have Auschwitz-Birkenau! You can very easy spend quite some days on that neighbourhood..

Wieliczka rock salt mine has been minded since the 13th century and was active until 2007. Its attractions includes statues and four chapels which are carved out from the rock salt by the miners.

It reaches as deep as 327 meters but the visitors can get until 135 meters deep. It is over 278 km long!!! You can only go in guided tours in the salt mine and the tour takes about 3.5 hours, entrance fee 84 zt ( about 19 e) and they also sell "right to take photos" with 10 zt (2 e), but I really think I was the only one to pay for it and still EVERYONE of my group took photos. There was absolutely no control for it, so do not bother to pay for it. You suppose to add a sticker on your clothes with a camera photo on it. Just don´t and make free your photos!

Excellent spot to stay, also for overnight stays. Few hundred meters from the Salt Mine entrance, parking on the grass (welcome chairs and tables out!) with five euro a day. I read somewhere that the actual parking of the salt mine would cost three times more for campers (!?!)...
GPS coordinates for this parking are N 49°59'13" E 20°03´06".

Nice looking 4x4 camper came beside me!

Locomotive which was used in Wieliczka

To reach level 1 at 64 m got my little dizzy. I think it was around 300 steps which went round and round and felt like forever.

You will see many corridors like this!

This was the first chamber with its art work made out of rock salt. Chamber of Nikolaj Kopernik 
(Did you know he was Polish? I did not!)

If you click the photos they get bigger and you can see the salt on the roof of this cave!

Salt miners on their work

Horses were used as workers in the mine and they really did not have a beautiful life. Once they got in, they never got out. Hard working life, long days and never fresh air. Actually one horse did get out, the last horse of the mine and he is still now (2016) alive. Having his pension life out in the fresh air!

Salt on the rocks

One of the four chapels, the Holy Cross chapel from 1860.

St. Kinga´s Chapel is the largest chapel and located 101 meters underground and it is the miners pride. Even the chandeliers are made out of rock crystals and giving the most beautiful glow. It is used for weddings and classical religious music concerts.

Altar of the chapel, made out of rock salt of course!

This art work does not need presentation.

Salt lake

Worlds most underground restaurant at 135 m deep. Guaranteed no daylight.

As we did get as deep as 135 m by foot, how do we get back up? Phewwww, no walking, there were several lifts which went up with very fast speed. We were 9 people in one small box, not very comfortable feeling, but quickly up again ready to meet the daylight :)

See you in Auschwitz-Birkenau!


  1. hi, backpackers, beautiful photos, as usual, I'm not sure that Copernicus was Polish, his father was German, and he was born on the territory Hanseatic, no?

    1. Thank you Voltaire! Wikipedia tells: Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been a part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466 and he was born after. Maybe his roots were also German, but atleast Polish people tells he definetely was Polish..

  2. Anonymous22 June, 2016

    Onpa suorastaan jylhä paikka, varsinkin kristallikruunusali. Kiitos kuvista, tuskin tuonne tulee itse lähdettyä.

    1. Tuo kristallikruunusali oli kyllä hieno!

  3. Anonymous24 June, 2016

    Aivan uskomaton paikka.Suolapatsaat on niin upeasti tehty.Olisi kyllä mahtavaa päästä tuolla käymään.Loistavia kuvia.


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