Wieliczka Salt Mine
The Wieliczka Salt Mine (Polish: Kopalnia soli Wieliczka), located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation. From its beginning and throughout its existence, the Royal mine was run by the Żupy krakowskie Salt Mines. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding.
The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The oldest sculptures are augmented by the new carvings by contemporary artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.
The mine is one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated in the first round, September 16, 1994. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
- The Wieliczka Salt Mine (Polish: Kopalnia soli Wieliczka), located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area.