May 6:Krakow- Wieliczka Salt Mine

Today we visited the the Wieliczka Salt Mine within the Krakow metropolitan area approximately 20min drive from our hotel. The mine was built in the 13th century as one of world’s oldest mine.Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding. We signed up for two tours at the Wieliczka Salt Mine. In the morning we went on the tourist’s route going 125m below surface including dozens of statues,three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. To experience more of what is like to be back in time working underground,in the afternoon we went on an underground mine tour viewing the mysterious underground city located on 9 levels at 64 to 327 metres below ground surface containing almost 2400 chambers connected by corridors.

Horses were used at that time as labour to drive the shaft up and down, and eventually die underground where they worked. It was not until the World War I that explosives were used to blast salt developments and chambers, which is much more efficient and relevant to what we are used to today. It is interesting to see how underground mining have evolved from what it was seen at the Wieliczka to what it is today.

Of course, how can we finish off this blog post without a group photo and some views at the mine!

Lucie and Veronica

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