Ok so if you ask me what the most strange and unique place i have ever been in is , i will definitely think about the one and only Wieliczka Salt Mine , located in a small village near Krakow, Poland. If you have never visited a mine , please do consider it because it is a once in a lifetime experience! Inside this particular one , i found the most amazing cathedral ever. There are plenty of tour operators that will arrange everything for you ( you can’t visit by yourself anyways ) in the best prices so don’t hesitate!
Wieliczka Salt Mine is located just 15 km away from Krakow and it is a World Heritage Sight since 1978. It was first built in the 13th century and up to 1996 it was vivid salt mine.It is the second,oldest,salt mine in Europe , composed of 9 levels and it is 327 meters deep.!Its tunnels reach out 300km and there are over 2.040 rooms and many underground lakes.
Since 1950 it started getting visitors and slowly turned into a museum.The tour lasts about 2 hours and the distance you will walk is about 2km. Keep in mind that it is a place that Nikolaus Copernicus,Goethe,Chopin and many others great personalities,have visited.
The day of our visit,we arrived at Wieliczka village and headed to the salt mine.After some preparations we started our descent, through a narrow staircase and reached the first 60 meters below the surface.We saw all the exhibits as we were walking and found out about the way the salt mine was working over the years.
It was a great laugh when our guide asked us to lick the walls so we could see ourselves that it they were made of salt. Feel free to try it as salt is antiseptic and it kills germs.
Reaching the first underground lakes , we were totally stunned by the sight!
Going even deeper down , we reach 130 meters and that is where the good part starts! Prepare yourselves , for the Mine Museum . All the works of art , made from the salt-minors are absolutely wonderful and it is hard to believe that everything is made just out of salt . Enormous statues of Chopin or Saint Barbara are only a few of the unbelievable pieces of art you will inquire as you walk down the halls. Leonardo DaVinCi’s ” Last Supper ” is probably the highlight of them all!
And when you probably think , wow this place is amazing , that must be it , it was unbelievable , lets go home now, you take the final turn and this hits you! A huge underground cathedral TOTALLY made out of salt , from the floor to the chandeliers , twelve meters high , that was created slowly for over thirty years! More than 20.000 tons of salt was used for this spectacular cathedral , the most beautiful church i have ever seen!
You have to pay a small fee in order to take pictures in the room but it is totally worth it! Let me also add , for those interested that YES , weddings can be arranged here in some circumstances 😉 And that is the end of the tour. You go inside a big elevator that takes you up to the surface – takes you really fast i have to admit – so you can buy one amazing souvenir made of , what else? Salt.