Wieliczka salt mine tour – interesting information
Wieliczka salt mine is a tourist attraction visited every year by a huge number of Poles and foreigners. It is quite a landmark, often chosen by children, teens and adults. There are several different routes that will satisfy everyone – both adrenaline-hungry hikers and history buffs. For those who are planning a Wieliczka salt mine tour we have some very interesting information below.
Wieliczka Salt Mine is included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
- It is the only active mine in Poland which was founded in the Middle Ages. used for mining the salt, it is currently used for disposal purposes.
- In the Middle Ages the object was described as Magnum Sal, or Great Salt, to distinguish it from a mine in Bochnia.
- Both evaporated salt and stone salt forms were mined in Wieliczka. Stone salt was in the form of carved blocks known as snowmen.
- Wieliczka salt mine brought such huge income that Casimir the Great was able found the Academy of Krakow.
- People who go on the Wieliczka salt mine tour also need to know that thanks to the profits it was also possible to expand the Wawel Castle.
- In the sixteenth century. Wieliczka Salt Mine was the largest “enterprise” in Europe. Not only it employed a lot of people, it also had its own kitchen and a doctor and even shared social welfare and pensions system! It was an incredible achievement for that time.
- Recognition of the medicinal properties of salt resulted in the creation of the underground saline spa with swimming pools in the nineteenth century. What’s interesting – it still functions today, so if someone chooses to partake in Wieliczka salt mine tour, it is possible to take a health baths.
- The total area of deposits in the mine is 7 km, it has 9 levels and reaches a depth of over 325 meters. In its area numerous walkways were built – their total length is 300 km, but the visitors can only see a small part of the whole facility.
- People who go on Wieliczka salt mine tours can opt for one of three routes: tourist, mining and Secrets of the Great Mine. The first takes the form of a standard tourist tour, during which you can learn a lot of interesting facts about the history and cultural traditions of the place. Two others are an ideal option for adventurous children and young people, but there is nothing preventing the adults to take part in these escapades.
- On the trail of the tourist route you will find Staszic chamber, which beaten two Guinness records! The first concerned a balloon flight, and the second – a bungee jump. Balloon or bungee underground – impossible? On the contrary!
- Of course, the most famous chamber is dedicated to St. Kinga.
- To be able to use the mining route or the Great Mystery Mine, you first need to make a reservation, because it is a scheduled group tour and each expedition participant receives the appropriate equipment.
- At the end of almost every Wieliczka salt mine tour, visitors get to the surface using a modern elevator.
Wieliczka is visited every year a huge number of tourists, but 2012 was a record year. Routes in the mine were visited by 1,117,000 people who came from 175 countries!