About 10 kilometers from the city of Krakow is the situated town of Wieliczka, which is the home of an ancient salt mine. It is the only mine in the world that has operated without interruption since the middle ages. Over 700 years of exploration has resulted in hundreds of passages, holes and voids. Under the city stretches 300 km of corridors and tunnels, creating a system composed of nine levels of three thousand chambers, reaching a depth of 327 meters.
Of the salt mine, 3.5 km is available to explore, consisting of 20 chambers at depths up to 135 meters. During the two hour long tour, you can see, among other things: Erasmus Baracz’s Chamber, which has a beautiful green lake, the Nicolaus Copernicus Chamber, the Chamber of Janowice, which has a sculpture depicting the legend of Saint Kinga and the Chapel of Saint Kinga, where Sunday mass still takes place. The entirety of it’s interior is made of salt. The walls are decorated with reliefs depicting biblical scenes that are lit by chandeliers. It is the largest underground temple in the world.
In addition to the tourist route, you can also visit the underground exhibition of Cracow Saltworks Musuem, which is located at the depth of 135 meters on the third level of the mine. The museum houses a collection of 14 chambers, tools and equipment as well as some history about the city. In the basement there is also a sanatorium and spa. The micro climate brings relief to sufferers of respiratory disease and allergies.