Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
The 400 stairs down to the Salt mine!
On our second day in Poland, we decided to book a day trip to Auschwitz, followed by a trip to the Wieliczka Salt mine in the afternoon. After spending the morning at Auschwitz, we arrived at the mine around dinnertime. This mine is the second oldest operating salt mine in the world. It was in operation from the 13th century until 2007. Commercial mining was stopped in 1996 because of low salt prices.
After getting tickets, we were led down 378 steps until we reached the mine, around 135 metres down. You are taken on a 3.5km tour of the mine, shown the corridors, the many statues, the chapels, and then later taken into St.Kinga's cathederal. Here, even the crystal chandeliers are made of salt.
St Kinga's Chapel
They are made from rock salt that has been reconstituted to resemble a glass appearance. Also in this tremendous room are the salt carvings of the last supper, and a life size salt figure of Pope John Paul II. When entering this room, everyone was absolutely speechless. The concept of being nearly 200 feet underground, standing inside a salt cavern, inside a cathederal was mind blowing. The temperature inside the mine is at a constand 55 degrees. On the tour you are also shown a small lake, where they used to allow small boats to carry visitors across the waters, this has been stopped. To leave the mine, you are taken in a small (extremely small) lift, each lift carries 9 people (3-4 comfortably). The ride up takes around 30 seconds, but i wouldnt reccommend it if you are claustraphobic, the ride is small, hot and dark.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The 400 stairs down to the Salt mi…
The 400 stairs down to the Salt m…
St Kingas Chapel
St Kinga's Chapel
Passages down.
Passages down.
An old winch
An old winch
The bottom of St.Kingas shaft
The bottom of St.Kingas shaft
St Kingas Chapel
St Kinga's Chapel
Chandelier carved in rock salt
at…
Chandelier carved in rock salt a…
Da Vincis The Last Supper
Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper'
Chandelier carved in rock salt
at…
Chandelier carved in rock salt a…
The pope made out of salt.
The pope made out of salt.
Wieliczka
photo by: EmyG