Ever heard, or visited a Salt Mine? If not, then look no further, unknown to many, there is a great treasure in the depths of the earth… Where exactly? in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, “The Wieliczka Salt Mine”, a mine built in the 13th century that produced table salt until 2007, and one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation today. So what is the big deal about this mine? … Looking at the Mine from the outside, you will not find anything out of the ordinary, the building and landscaping are very well-kept, but what lays beneath the earth surface, exactly 327 metres (1,073 ft) and over 287 kilometres (178 mi) long is a spectacule well worth experiencing.
The Wieliczka mine is often referred to as “the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland” and features an underground lake with historic statues and impressive sculptural forms of mythical figures carved out of rock salt. There is also a chapel, a private rehabilitation and wellness complex, and a reception room available for private functions with beautiful crystal chandeliers made from the rock salt that have been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. One of the most appealing and amazing work of art is the Santa Kinga Chapel for its size and boldness; for centuries, the polish people have been devoted catholics, and the construction of the chapel wasmore than a fondness to overcome the boredness, it was an act of faith….there is also a legend associated with the Wieliczka mine about Princess Kinga, a hungarian noblewoman about to be married to Boleslaw V the Chaste, the Prince of Krakow; it is said that the princess asked her father for a lump of salt (salt was prizeworthy in Poland), and her father, King Bela took his daughter to a salt mine in Maramaros; Princess Kinga threw her engagement ring from Boleslaw in one of the shafts before leaving for Poland; on arriving in Krakow, she asked the miners to dig a deep pit until they come upon a rock. The people found a lump of salt in there, and when they split it in two, discovered the princess’s ring. Kinga had thus become the patron saint of saltminers in and around the Polish capital.
Another important sculpture is “The Last Supper”, the detailed work makes us question “Where they conscientious of their future fame?”…
In 1978, The Wieliczka Salt Mines were declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO; and today, the mines receive around a million visitors a year, some of its most notable guests include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Robert Baden-Powell, Jacob Bronowski, Pope John Paul II, former U.S. President Bill Clinton as well as many others.