What to look near Krakow at? Wieliczka Salt Mines ofIf you are in Krakow, then surely go to salt mines which are in the settlement of Velichka that in 10 kilometers from the downtown. It is one of the most interesting places in Europe. It is simple to reach here. Usually here come by tourist buses. But if you travel independently, then from the center of Krakow buses go, to go to a stop “Wieliczka - Rynek“. the Entrance to mines is allowed
only accompanied by the guide, groups are regularly gathered. Tickets can be bought at an entrance. In turn each group goes down. According to guides, in mine - very good microclimate, and air is equated to sea. It is very useful for those who have diseases of respiratory organs.
Salt mines - one of the first places which was entered in the List of the World cultural and natural heritage of UNESCO in 1978. The sizes of mines impress - more than 300 kilometers of the underground labyrinths located at 9 levels and the maximum depth to 327 meters. Tourists can pass underground more than 2 kilometers and go down on depth to 135 meters. These are only 2% of all developments. Inside there are 2350 chambers of the different historical periods.
Salt mines are not just popular tourist sight. It is history of the salt-making industry which beginning is carried to the average period of the Neolithic (3500 years B.C.). Around Velichki big deposits of salt found in the 13th century. Then - that also began to extract salt. Work is continued and today. Salt in old times was considered as very valuable product. For example, at the time of the king Kazimir Veliky salt mines brought in a third of the income of the state treasury.
The underground memorial estate consists of long corridors and chambers which were called in honor of celebrated personalities. Here, for example, Nicolaus Copernicus`s chamber in which there is a monument to the astronomer made of salt. The mine was visited by outstanding persons what salt monuments to Jogann Wolfgang a background to Goethe, Jozef Pilsudsky testify to. In other chambers it is possible to see the equipment which miners used for transportation and extraction of salt, and also the model of the village of the Neolithic era. As damp air leads to destruction of constructions, carry periodically out restoration works.
In a chamber Yanovitsa is told such legend. The daughter of the Hungarian king Bela IV from a dynasty Arpadov was going to get married for krakovsko - the sandomirsky prince Boleslav Stydlivy. She knew that the rich land of her future husband lacks salt. The girl asked for the father in given salt mine in the region Maramures. When she accepted it in the possession, threw the wedding ring down. It swept and wonderfully it appeared near Krakow. The princess specified the place where to dig mine, and workers found rich deposits of salt. Since then the queen to King is considered as the patroness of the Krakow salt mines.
A chapel the Saint Kingi - the biggest is also ornated. It is a lot of bas-reliefs and monuments, including to the Pope John Paul II. All this is made of salt. Candlesticks and chandeliers from salt crystals are lit up by electric lighting that creates the special atmosphere. In a chapel hold services, and also sometimes arrange concerts of classical music.
The first mass was made in Saint Anthony`s chapel in 1698. He was considered as the patron of miners who were engaged in extraction of ore. In mines there are also her keepers - salt gnomes. Near them it is necessary to make a wish, and it will surely come true.
It is possible to come into the Museum of salt mines of the city of Krakow which consists of two expositions. The first is on the street in the Lock of salt mines, and the second - at the third level of mine, and is 135 meters underground. There are not only halls for tourists, but also scientific laboratories work.
In mines and at the exit there are a lot of souvenir little shops. The majority buys, of course, products from salt. Salt lamps enjoy popularity. Sellers claim that if to light such lamp in the house, then air will be filled with salt ions that will create a good microclimate. Even if you do not trust in it, then the salt lamp anyway will create a cosiness in the room. The interesting design in the form of spheres, lodges, pyramids, hearts will become original decoration of the house.
How many nutritionists would not argue, it is useful or harmfully there is a salt, it is clear one - the person without salt cannot live. And Velichka - the proof to it.