About 1,000 feet under Poland you can tour the Wieliczka Salt Mine where you could fit the Eiffel Tower and have room left over. What was once a salt-producing salt mine has now become a tourist attraction and the venue for many activities that seem unlikely in such an underground location. It’s a chilly 800 steps down into the area that you’ll want to see so be sure to take along a jacket so you’ll be comfortable as you view some of the most spectacular salt carvings under the world.
The Statues That You Can View
The enormous but intricate salt statues were all carved by self-taught sculptors and are as impressive as they are beautiful. You’ll want to see the following rooms or pieces of salt art that adorn the walls and hallways of the mine
- The Chapel of Saint Kinga. This underground chapel has a replica of The Last Supper by Da Vinci carved right into the salt.
- A statue of Pope John Paul II which is wearing papal robes carved in detail.
- Snow White’s seven dwarves are carved in one room and appear to be hauling salt from the mines as they go about their work.
- Chandeliers in the open rooms are carved from salt.
- Jesus appearing to the apostles after he was crucified; he appears to be showing doubting Thomas the wounds on his wrists.
Be sure to do some research before you go so that you will have a true appreciation for all of the work that went on in less than perfect conditions underground for over a number of years.
The Underground Spa
If the trek of 800 steps takes a toll on your physical condition, you may want to book a visit to the health resort that can offer you subterranotherapy to help your respiratory problems. If you’d like to bring your sleeping bag and stay overnight arrangements can be made through your travel specialist. The spa can truly boast of allergen-free air and no pollution in the atmosphere that they provide to their guests. It’s worth a look to see if this is something you might like whilst on holiday underground.
There is also a brass band that helps to celebrate special activities and events in the Wieliczka Salt Mine; this band, the Wieliczka Salt Mine Representative Brass Band is said to be the oldest band in Europe. The musicians play at religious holidays, funerals that are held in the mines, and for more joyous celebrations for hire. In fact, New Year’s parties are also planned in the mine to ring in a new year for guests seeking a different venue for their party.
When in Poland, the Krakow Salt Mines tour is a must-do on your travel agenda. From 100-foot ceilings to an underground lake to whimsical rooms filled with lovely salt carvings you’ll love the experience of this underground playground. Take your camera, comfortable shoes, and a jacket so that you can enjoy your time in this exquisitely prepared gallery beneath the town of Krakow. It will certainly be a memorable experience to share with family and friends once you get back home.
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons Michal Osmenda