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Wielicska Salt Mine
The mine operated from the 13th through 20th centuries - and is adorned with sculptures and chapels carved out of subterranean rock salt.
You walk about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) through tunnel-corridors and down 378 wooden steps. Your lowest point is 135 meters (445 feet) below the surface. At the end of your underground journey, you take an elevator to ground level.
The Wielicska Salt Mine tour is given in several languages and is quite popular - 1.2 million people per year take it.
It's the Kinga Chapel, a house of worship with an 18-meter or 60-foot high ceiling (see photo). The altar is striking, as are the rock-salt-crystal chandeliers. The chamber is rimmed with friezes, statues (one of Pope John II), and other sculpted rock salt formations.
in the Wielicska Salt Mine
They include en route educational exhibits, an underground lake, and a technical museum.
Many of the statues suffer erosion damage. And although most visitors enjoy the three-hour tour, a significant minority find it excessively long. Some even consider it tidious.
The site is only about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from central Krakow, making it an easy half-day outing from the city.
How to pronounce
Wielicska = vee-leech-kah
Location in Poland
Photo by Cedric Puisney - GNU 1.2
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