Some tourists come to Poland only to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine (go to the trip page). It is the oldest active enterprise in the world. Since the thirteenth century, salt has been continuously extracted in it, although nowadays not on an industrial scale.
Poland is a very willingly visited country
Today’s mine is a labyrinth of underground pavements and chambers with a length of 350 km, of which 2 km are open to visitors. The route leads through 20 chambers located on three levels, 64 to 135 m underground, lakes and chapels with salt sculptures, bas-reliefs and chandeliers. The chapel of St. Kinga, due to its dimensions, deserves to be called an underground salt church.
The mine also has an underground post office, restaurant and cinema, and even tennis courts. Concerts, theater performances and balls are held in large chambers. Because the local air has healing properties, on the fifth level, 211 m underground, a sanatorium was created in which various allergies and asthma are treated.
The salt mine in Wieliczka has been operating continuously since the mid-thirteenth century. Over the past seven centuries, miners have made 7.5 million cubic meters of so-called after-care voids. During this time, 26 wells were drilled deep into nine levels reaching up to 327 meters and salt from 2040 chambers was selected. A labyrinth of nearly 300 km of corridors was built near Wieliczka. Organized tourist traffic has been taking place since the end of the 18th century. Only 4% are available for tourists and patients, underground excavations of a historic nature. In 1978, the mine was inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.