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 is currently one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.
The Wieliczka salt mine reaches a depth of 327 meters and is over 287 kilometers (178 mi) long. The rock salt is naturally grey in various shades, resembling unpolished granite rather than the white or crystalline look that many visitors may expect. In the 13th century, rock salt was discovered in Wieliczka and the first shafts were dug.
The Wieliczka mine is often referred to as “the Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland”. In 1978 it was placed on the original UNESCO list of the World Heritage Sites. Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. It also houses a private rehabilitation and wellness complex.
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