The Kadzielnia Reserve is a nature reserve located in Kielce, Poland. It is situated in the Kadzielnia quarry, which is a limestone quarry that is no longer in use. The reserve is known for its unique geological formations and diverse wildlife, including rare species of birds and bats. The quarry is also a popular spot for rock climbing and hiking. The reserve also includes a geological museum which shows how the quarry was formed and how it was used over the years. It is a popular tourist spot in the region.
The former quarry attracts visitors interested in music, extreme experiences such as ziplining and also geology enthusiasts.
It is located on a hill as part of the Kadzielnia Range and is 295m above sea level. As a quarry back in the 18th century, it was a significant source of limestone, which was required primarily for road construction and you can still find traces of mining activity around the area.
In the centre is the Geologists Rock and this is protected as part of the Kadzielnia Nature Reserve and is not open to tourists, instead visitors admire the rock from the surrounding paths and viewpoints surrounding the quarry.
You’ll find a number of attractions in Kadzielnia such as the underground tourist route, the amphitheatre, a zip-line station and a waterfall.
Kadzielnia is very popular with palaeontologists and geologists who come to the area in search of fossils. Many different fossils have been found including sponges, corals, daylilies, brachiopods and snails.
Kadzielnia is also home to 25 caves. There are three caves open to the public and this is where you can find the 140m long underground tourist route.
The Kadzielnia Amphitheater is one of the most unique and beautiful stages in the country. The surrounding rocks provide a natural backdrop and also enhance the acoustics. The amphitheatre has operated for more than 50 years and underwent a thorough modernisation in 2010, today it can seat as many as 5,430 spectators. During inclement weather, the stage and auditorium is covered with a retractable roof.
The amphitheater hosts large, modern artistic shows and concerts, among them the cult “pinwheel”, the International Scout Festival of School Youth Culture and the annual Kielce Festival.
Kadzielnia Rope Park
There’s much more to Kadzielnia than a concert among the rocks, exploring the caves and the amazing views. Thrill-seekers come to the area to admire the scenery from a height of 40m during a free rope descent. The Kadzielnia Rope Park includes three descents.
Historic Centre of Krakow – updated 10 January 2023.
The historic centre of Krakow has been featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1978. Packed full of restaurants, museums, galleries and bars, the medieval layout of the Old Town has not changed for centuries.
Main market square
The heart and focal point of the historic centre of Krakow is its graceful main market square, the largest medieval town square of any European city.
Most visitors to Krakow visit the market square with its Cloth Hall, the Church of the Holy Mary, Wawel Hill and its Royal Castle, Wawel Cathedral with its outstanding Renaissance chapel, the Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate.
Wawel Royal Castle
Wawel Royal Castle and the limestone Wawel Hill are extremely important historical and cultural sites containing one of the most important collection of buildings in Poland. Wawel was once the seat of Polish rulers, the residence of kings and the focal point of many Polish historical events. The hill is a symbol of the Polish nation and has witnessed some of the greatest moments in Polish history. Many Polish kings have been laid to rest below Wawel Cathedral.
The Jewish quarter of Kazimierz features a wealth of Jewish heritage with its 16th century cemetery and seven synagogues of which one is now the Jewish Museum.
The historic centre of Krakow was once surrounded by a 3km long defensive wall complete with 46 towers and seven main entrances. Today only a fragment of the old fortifications remains including the Florian Gate, the Barbican and a few towers.
The historic centre of Krakow is bisected by the Royal Road, the coronation route traversed by the Kings of Poland. The Route begins at St. Florian's Church outside the northern flank of the old city walls in the medieval suburb of Kleparz; passes the Barbican of Krakow built in 1499 and enters Stare Miasto through the Florian Gate. It leads down Floriańska Street through the Main Square, and up Grodzka to Wawel, the former seat of Polish royalty overlooking the Vistula River.
Here are some common questions and answers that you might find helpful:
Q: Where is the Historic Centre of Krakow located? A: The Historic Centre is located in the heart of the city of Krakow, Poland, surrounded by the Planty Park, which is a ring of public gardens that encircles the Old Town.
Q: When was the Historic Centre of Krakow designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? A: It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Q: What is the history of the Historic Centre of Krakow? A: The Historic Centre is a well-preserved example of a medieval European town. The city played an important role in the development of the Polish state, and many of its buildings have survived from the Middle Ages. The Main Market Square is the largest medieval market square in Europe and features the Gothic St. Mary's Basilica, the Cloth Hall and the Town Hall Tower. The Wawel Castle and the Wawel Cathedral, which sit on the Wawel Hill, are also iconic landmarks of the Historic Centre of Krakow.
Q: What can I see on a visit to the Historic Centre of Krakow? A: Visitors can explore the charming streets and squares of the Old Town, admire the many beautiful buildings and churches, and visit museums and galleries. Some of the must-see sites include the Main Market Square, Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral, St. Mary's Basilica, the Cloth Hall, and the Town Hall Tower. You can also take a stroll along the Royal Route, which is a historical and architectural route that connect the Wawel Castle and the Main Market Square.
Q: Is the Historic Centre of Krakow open to visitors? A: It is open to visitors year-round, but please check the official website for current opening hours and any potential restrictions.
Q: How long does a visit to the Historic Centre of Krakow last? A: A visit to the Historic Centre can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on how much you want to see and do.
Q: Are there any special requirements to visit the Historic Centre of Krakow? A: There are no special requirements to visit the Historic Centre, but visitors should be aware that many of the buildings and museums have limited accessibility for people with disabilities.
Q: Are there any other things to do in the area? A: Krakow is a vibrant and culturally rich city with many things to see and do beyond the Historic Centre. Some popular attractions include the Jagiellonian University, the Kazimierz district (historical Jewish Quarter), the Oskar Schindler Factory Museum and the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which are all nearby.
Project Riese (German for “Giant”) was a construction project undertaken by Nazi Germany during World War II in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland. The exact purpose of the project is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers and military command centers. The project was named after the German word for “giant” because of the large scale of the construction.
The project was begun in 1943 and was never completed, as it was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end. The construction was carried out by prisoners of war and forced laborers, many of whom died during the course of the project.
There are many theories about the true purpose of Project Riese, some suggest that it was intended as an underground military command center, while others believe it was to be a factory for the production of advanced weapons or a research facility for developing new technologies. Some even suggest that it was intended as a secret underground city or a bunker for high-ranking Nazi officials. However, none of these theories has been conclusively proven, and the true purpose of Project Riese remains a mystery.
Two things are certain, the size of the project was immense and none of the constructions were finished. Only a few tunnels were reinforced with concrete. Project Riese was abandoned at the initial stage of construction and only 9 km (25,000 m2, 100,000 m3) of tunnels were dug out.
Today, some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.
A massive network of roads, narrow gauge railways and bridges were constructed to connect excavation sites with the nearby railway stations. In total, some 90,000 cubic metres of tunnels were carved into the mountains, the work involved to do this was strenuous and involved cutting down thousands of trees, building dams, digging reservoirs and drainage ditches, blasting rocks with explosives and reinforcing caverns with concrete and steel.
Seven major access points were constructed to separate tunnel systems at Walim-Rzeczka, Włodarz, Jugowice, Soboń, Sokolec, Osówka and Książ Castle.
To build these giant structures, the Nazis used prisoners of war, prisoners from concentration camps and forced labourers. Many of these workers lost their lives due to disease, malnutrition, exhaustion & dangerous underground works.
Initially, concentration camp prisoners were not used; however a typhus epidemic occurred amongst the workforce in December 1943 significantly slowing down production. Hitler handed over supervision of construction to Organisation Todt, headed by Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and engineer and around 13,000 prisoners of the camps were put to work, many conscripted from Auschwitz concentration camp.
Interestingly, Albert Speer himself stated that the Riese Project involved some 213,000 cubic metres of tunnels. Today, less than 100,000 are accounted for, suggesting that there are many tunnels and parts of the project still to be discovered. This is technically supported by the existence of narrow-gauge railways and plumbing that appear to lead nowhere, witness accounts also support this account.
113,000 cubic metres of undiscovered tunnels and a lack of documentation as to the purpose of the project has led to numerous conspiracy theories over the years. The favourite is that the tunnels were constructed to hide confiscated Nazi treasure including the famous Amber Room which disappeared from Saint Petersburg and missing gold and art from multiple locations around Europe. An area outside Wałbrzych was the focus of a story about a buried 'Nazi gold train' in August 2015 and today, the areas still attracts treasure hunters in search of their fortunes.
Q: When was Project Riese started? A: Project Riese was started in 1943, during World War II, by Nazi Germany.
Q: Where is Project Riese located? A: Project Riese is located in the Owl Mountains and Kłodzko Valley of occupied Poland.
Q: Who built Project Riese? A: Project Riese was built by Nazi Germany, using prisoners of war and forced laborers.
Q: What was the purpose of Project Riese? A: The exact purpose of Project Riese is not known, but it is believed to have been a complex of underground facilities, including factories, research centers, and military command centers.
Q: Was Project Riese completed? A: No, the project was abandoned in 1945 as the war was coming to an end.
Q: Is Project Riese open to the public? A: Some of the underground facilities are open to the public as tourist attractions and visitors can explore the tunnels and see the remains of the unfinished construction.
Let yout guide take you along the track of the biggest secrets of World War II in Lower Silesia. See The Osowka complex, which is a part of Nazi Riese Project and Gross-Rosen concentration camp.
The Osowka complex has been part of an impressive project conducted by Nazi Germany between 1943 and 1945 (code name “Riese”). The mysterious structure called “underground city” still hasn’t revealed all of its secrets. Discover the biggest and the most complex of Hitler’s headquarters in Lower Silesia. This complex is believed to be Adolf Hitler’s secret headquarters built in the Owl Mountains. This part of the tour is with live guide.
Ksiaz Castle is the third largest castle in Poland, placed on a impressive rock cliff by the side of the Pelcznica River. Surrounded by a charming forest which lays 395 meter above sea level, this castle is often called ‘the Pearl of Lower Silesia’. This part of the tour is with audio guide.
Lastly you will visit the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, the biggest Nazi-German concentration camp in Lower Silesia, where inmates worked in particularly harsh conditions in the quarries. The motto of this place was Vernichtung durch Arbeit (Annihilation through work). Around 40.000 prisoners died here: Poles, Jews, Russians, French and Hungarians. This part of the tour is with live guide – Book tickets
The Krzemionki Flint Mining Region is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in southern Poland, near the city of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. The site is composed of a series of prehistoric flint mines that were in use from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age. The flint mines at Krzemionki are considered to be some of the oldest known mines in the world.
Krzemionki is a complex of banded (striped) flint mines, which were in operation during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages (3,900-1,600 BC), and have been preserved in an almost intact state.
The Krzemionki Flint Mining Region is an important archaeological site and has provided valuable insights into the social and economic organization of prehistoric societies. The site also has significant historical and cultural value, as it is one of the few surviving examples of prehistoric mining in Europe.
The Krzemionki mines are located in the mountain region of Świętokrzyskie. The mining complex is composed of over 200 underground mine shafts and galleries, as well as surface mining areas. The mines were used to extract flint, a hard and durable stone that was used to make tools and weapons. Products from the mines have been found as far away as 660km.
The flint mines at Krzemionki were unique because of the large-scale and organized nature of the mining operations, as well as the advanced mining techniques that were used.
Professor Jan Samsonowicz
The Krzemionki mines were discovered in 1922 by a Polish geologist, Professor Jan Samsonowicz. His discovery was significant, Krzemionki is one of the most comprehensive prehistoric underground flint extraction and processing systems identified to date with underground mining structures, flint workshops and around 4,000 shafts and pits.
The site was designated as a Polish historic monument on 16th October 1994 and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 6th July 2019. The mines provide invaluable information about life and work in prehistoric settlements and the importance of flint mining for tool production in bygone days.
Small groups of tourists have visited the Krzemionki mines since the late 1950s but they were only available to large groups of visitors since 1985 when Tourist Route No. 1 was made available. A second underground route was opened in 1990 followed by an open-air archaeological museum in 1992.
Visitors to the Krzemionki Flint Mining Region can see the remains of the mines and learn about the history and archaeology of the site through guided tours, educational programs and exhibitions.
The tourist route in Krzemionki is approx. 1.5 km long and presents the original excavations of Neolithic mines, mining heaps and shaft pits that make up the unique industrial landscape from 5,000 years ago.
The underground tourist route in its present form is 465m long, descending 11.5 m at the deepest point.
Krzemionki is located 8km north-east of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski , between the villages of Sudół and Magonie. You can get there by car (route number 754) or by bus from the centre of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.
Krzemionki Flint Mining Region is an important archaeological site located in southern Poland that contains the remains of prehistoric flint mines. Here are some frequently asked questions about the Krzemionki Flint Mining Region:
Q: How old is the Krzemionki Flint Mining Region?
A: The Mining Region is believed to have been in use during the Neolithic period, which is around 6000-4000 BC.
Q: What is the significance of the Region?
A: The Flint Mining Region is an important archaeological site that provides insight into the lives and technology of prehistoric communities. The flint mines at Krzemionki were used to extract high-quality flint, which was a valuable resource for making tools and weapons. The flint mines are also considered as an ancient example of industrial scale mining and organized labor.
Q: What can be seen at Krzemionki Flint Mining Region?
A: Visitors to the Flint Mining Region can see the remains of prehistoric flint mines, including underground mining galleries and surface mining pits. There are also reconstructions of the ancient mining technology and information boards that explain the significance of the site.
Q: Is Krzemionki Flint Mining Region a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
A: Yes, Krzemionki Flint Mining Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, added to the list in 2017.
Q: How to get there?
A: Krzemionki Flint Mining Region is located in the city of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski in southern Poland. It can be reached by car or by public transport. The nearest train station is in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, from there you can take a bus or taxi to reach the site.
Q: What is the best time to visit Krzemionki?
A: The best time to visit Krzemionki would depend on your personal preferences. The site is open year-round, but the most pleasant time to visit would be in the warmer months when the weather is more favorable. The site is also open during winter, but it may be more difficult to access the mines due to weather conditions.
Tarnowskie Góry is a historic mining town located in the Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland. It is well-known for its long history of mining, particularly for silver and lead. The Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Underground & surface tours
The mine is considered to be one of the most interesting and valuable monuments of the industrial heritage of the region. The mine is open for tourists to visit and there are several different tours available, including a guided tour of the underground mine, which takes visitors through the mine's various levels and chambers, and provides an insight into the life of the miners and the working conditions underground. There are also surface tours which allow visitors to explore the mine's buildings and see the equipment used in the mining process.
15th and 16th centuries
A mining settlement and the first silver-bearing ore mines emerged in the region at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, today the mine and neighbouring Black Trout Adit are just remnants of a bygone silver mining industry.
During the mid-1930s, the idea to make part of Tarnowskie Góry suitable for tourists was first considered but was put on hold due to the outbreak of World War II.
Black Trout Adit
The Tarnowskie Góry Land Lovers Association was founded in the 1950s to look at the feasibility of opening up a tourist route; which led to part of the drainage system called Black Trout Adit being opened to visitors in 1957. For a long time, this was the longest underground boat tour in Poland.
Angel, God Bless and Viper
Due to safety concerns, it took a while for a tourist route to be opened within the corridors of the mine itself but eventually in September 1976, the route between shafts: Angel, God Bless and Viper were opened for tourists.
The mine was declared a Historic Monument by the president of Poland in 2004 and has been a part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage since 2014. The mine and its Underground Management System were inscribed to the UNESCO Heritage List in July 2017.
One of the most interesting feature of the mine is the fact that it has been turned into a museum, and it is one of the most unique underground mines of the kind in Europe. it offers an exhibition of mining equipment, interactive galleries and a multimedia presentation on mining history. You will also have the opportunity to see how the miners used to live, with a special historical presentation of the underground housing areas, the history and culture of the Silesia region.
The mine is usually open for tourists with guided tours in several languages. The tour begins in a museum and then goes underground to visit corridors from the 18th and 19th centuries. The underground tourist route is 1,740m long, including 270m travelled in a boat through the flooded corridor. The route includes audio effects such as the sounds of miners working, running carts and blasting works.
Visitors can also learn about the history of the mine, from its origins to the modern period, as well as the geology of the area, the mining techniques used, and the environmental impact of mining. The mine also features a souvenir shop and a café.
Overall, the Tarnowskie Góry Mine is a fascinating and educational experience, that provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the Silesia region, and the lives of the miners who worked there.
Q: What is Tarnowskie Góry Mine?
A: The mine is a former coal mine that operated from the late 19th century until 1996. It is located in the town of Tarnowskie Góry in southern Poland and it is considered a valuable monument of the industrial heritage of the region. The mine has been turned into a museum open for visitors, offering tours and exhibitions on the history and culture of mining in the area.
Q: What are some of the things you can see on a tour of the mine?
A: Visitors can take an underground tour of the mine, which takes them through the mine's various levels and chambers and provides an insight into the life of the miners and the working conditions underground. There are also surface tours available, which allows visitors to explore the mine's buildings and see the equipment used in the mining process. Visitors can also learn about the history of the mine, from its origins to the modern period, as well as the geology of the area, the mining techniques used, and the environmental impact of mining. The mine also features a museum, with exhibitions about the history of mining and the lives of the miners, as well as a souvenir shop and a café.
Q: How long does a tour of Tarnowskie Góry Mine last?
A: The duration of the tour will depend on the type of tour you choose. The underground tour typically lasts about an hour and a half, while the surface tour will last about an hour.
Q: Is the Tarnowskie Góry Mine tour safe?
A: Safety is a top priority at the mine, and all tours are guided by experienced and trained guides. Visitors are provided with hard hats and lamps, and are required to follow the guide's instructions at all times. The underground tour is also suitable for children over 7 years old, but it's worth to check the information on the website before planning your visit.
Q: Are there any special requirements for visiting?
A: Some tours may have height or age restrictions, or may require visitors to be in good physical condition. You should check the information on the official website or contact the mine directly to see if there are any specific requirements for the tour you're interested in.
Q: Are there any nearby attractions to the mine?
A: Yes, the town of Tarnowskie Góry is home to several other notable attractions, including:
The Tarnowskie Góry Silver Mine, which was an important silver mining site in the region.
The Tarnowskie Góry City Hall, which is a beautiful Renaissance building.
The St. Ann's Church, which is a beautiful baroque church located in the town center.
The Tarnowska Gallery, which is home to a collection of modern and contemporary art.
The Silver Mountain, a hill overlooking the city, offering a beautiful view of the region and the opportunity for a hike.
The Guido Coal Mine, also known as the Guido Shaft or the Guido underground mine, was located in the city of Zabrze in southern Poland. It was one of the oldest and largest coal mines in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. The mine began operation in the mid-19th century and was in continuous operation until it closed in 2001.
During its operation, it was considered one of the most important industrial sites in the region and a major employer in Zabrze. The mine’s Guido shaft, which was built in the late 19th century, was one of the deepest in Europe and reached a depth of over 1,100 meters. The mine was a major contributor to the local economy and had a significant cultural and historical impact on the region.
Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck
The mine gets its name from the founder, Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck who opened the mine in 1855.
Today, the mine is a museum and has been designated as an object of cultural heritage and a cultural monument in Poland. Two levels of Guido Coal Mine are open to visitors with depths of 170m and 320m below ground level, which makes it the deepest visitor mine in Europe. The underground museum is located at the deepest level.
Berlin hoisting machine
Visitors are transported down the shaft at a speed of 4m/s in an original Berlin hoisting machine dating from 1927. At the 170m level, there are chambers and galleries containing tools, rescue equipment and perfectly preserved horse stables, which are more than 100 years old.
At this level, visitors learn about the history of Silesian mining and the coal extraction methods which were used and also the role that horses played in the history of mining. On this level you will also find St. Barbara’s chapel.
At 320m below ground, attractions include; a ride in a suspended railway, operational mining machines and a pub.
On this level, you are able to see simulations of mining disasters and visit an exhibition dedicated to the politically repressed soldier-miners of the 1950s who were youngsters forced to work underground instead of doing military service.
The pub is the deepest drinking establishment in Europe and you are able to purchase Guido Beer, brewed locally in Gliwice and available as a lager or a stout.
Steep & dark
At times, the route can be steep and dark and visitors must wear a protective helmet at all times, flat shoes are recommended. The route is 3.5km long and takes around 2 ½ hours. The temperature underground is between 13 and 16 degrees Celsius regardless of season.
Established between the 12th and 13th centuries, the Bochnia Salt Mine, is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest commercial company in Poland. The mine stopped producing salt in 1990 at which time, it became a tourist attraction. In 2013, a multimedia aspect was added to the tourist route, which spans two kilometres in length.
Underground mining train
The complex offers four different routes for visitors. Among the mine’s attractions, there is the underground mining train that transports tourists along the tourist route, a 140m slide connecting two levels of the mine, and an underground boat crossing.
The history of salt extraction in the Bochnia region dates back to 3,500 years B.C. Prior to mining, salt was acquired by evaporating water from brine.
What to see
There’s a lot to see within the mine including historical mining tools and equipment, galleries, chambers and a chapel with train tracks running through it.
The two main parts of Bochnia Salt Mine are the August Passage and the Ważyn Chamber.
The August Passage
The August Passage is the main communication and transportation route in the mine, running from east to west and connecting the Campi and Sutoris mine shafts. The Passage has a depth ranging from 176m to 212m and is nearly 3km in length.
The Ważyn Chamber, which has no supporting pillars, is the biggest chamber in the mine and can be found at a depth of 248m. It is 255m long, 14.4m wide and has a maximum height of 7.2m.
Here are some common questions and answers that you might find helpful:
Q: Where is the Bochnia Salt Mine located? A: The Bochnia Salt Mine is located in the town of Bochnia, which is about 40 kilometers east of Krakow, in southern Poland.
Q: How old is the mine? A: The Bochnia Salt Mine has been in operation since the 13th century, making it one of the oldest mines in the world.
Q: What is the history of the mine? A: The mine has a long and rich history. It was first opened in the 13th century and was in continuous operation until 2007. During this time, it played an important role in the development of the town of Bochnia and was a major source of salt for the region.
Q: How deep does the mine go? A: The mine extends to a depth of 327 meters (1,073 feet) below the surface.
Q: What can I see on a tour of the mine? A: A tour of the mine will take you through a network of tunnels and chambers, where you can see the salt deposits, mining equipment, and the beautiful chapels that have been carved out of the salt. You’ll also learn about the history of the mine and the people who have worked there.
Q: Is the mine open to visitors? A: Yes, the mine is open to visitors and guided tours are available. Visitors should take note that the mine is not accessible for people with disabilities, it is not allowed to take big bags, food and drink, or selfie sticks.
Q: How long does a tour of the mine last? A: A typical tour of the mine lasts about 1.5-2 hours.
Q: Are there any special requirements to visit the mine? A: Visitors should be aware that the mine can be quite chilly (around 10-12 degrees C), even during the summer months, so it’s a good idea to wear warm clothing. Comfortable shoes are also recommended as you will be walking on uneven surfaces.
Q: Are there any other things to do in the area? A: In the surrounding area of Bochnia, you’ll find plenty of things to do, including visiting the historic town center, the Bochnia Saltworks Museum, and the Bochnia Castle. There are also many hiking and biking trails in the surrounding countryside. Krakow, being quite close can be a great idea for visit as well.
Learn what the work of medieval miners looked like
Stop in Tarnow, a charming little city
Visit Zalipie with picturesque little houses painted in flowery patterns
After transferring from Krakow to Bochnia, you will experience the oldest salt mine in Poland. Complete with a beautiful underground chapel, you will explore the mine with your friendly English-speaking tour guide.
The mine features galleries which are filled with works of art and statues sculpted into salt. The mine itself was added to the UNESCO Heritage List back in 2013. Later, you will transfer to Tarnow, a charming little city with an originally preserved Old Town which dates back to the 18th century.
The final stop on your tour will be to Zalipie, a true pearl of rural Poland. Here you will discover picturesque little houses painted in flowery patterns, and visiting this small village will truly make you feel as if you have traveled through time. At the conclusion of your tour, you will transfer back to Krakow.
The Wieliczka salt mine is a UNESCO World Heritage site located around 14km southeast of Krakówand is one of Poland’s most popular attractions, welcoming tourists since 1722.
Wieliczka is a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels, shafts and chambers, underground saline lakes, chapels with altarpieces, majestic timber constructions and unique statues sculpted in rock salt. The size of the mine is staggering, it reaches a depth of 327m and extends via horizontal passages and chambers for over 287 km distributed over nine levels. Only a small part of the mine is open to the public.
Wieliczka Salt Mine Sculptures
The oldest sculptures were carved out of rock salt by miners; more recent figures have been fashioned by contemporary artists. Even the crystals of the chandeliers are made from rock salt that has been dissolved and reconstituted to achieve a clear, glass-like appearance. The rock salt is naturally grey in various shades, so that the carvings resemble unpolished granite rather than the white or crystalline look that many visitors expect. The carvings may appear white in the photos, but the actual carved figures are not white.
Chapel of St Kinga
The highlight of the mine is a vast chamber housing the ornamented Chapel of St Kinga. Everything that you will see within the chamber is made from salt including altarpieces and chandeliers. It took over 30 years for three sculptors to complete this underground temple, and about 20,000 tonnes of rock salt had to be removed. The rock salt in the mine resembles unpolished granite and its natural colour is grey, not white as many people might expect.
The older sculptures have been supplemented with new carvings made by contemporary artists.
Historically, Wieliczka was a working mine; however due to falling salt prices and flooding, commercial salt mining was discontinued. The mine has produced salt since the 13th century and was one of the world’s oldest operating salt mines.
Other highlights are the Salt Lake in the Erazm Barącz Chamber, whose water is denser than the Dead Sea, and the awe-inspiring 36m-high Stanisław Staszic Chamber.
If you’re worried about the air quality down there, great news: the mine’s special microclimate actually has a beneficial effect on asthma sufferers and those with allergies!
To get down to the 64-metre level of the mine, visitors must descend a wooden stairway of 378 steps. After the 3km tour of the mine’s corridors, chapels, statues and lake, 135 metres underground, visitors take an elevator back up to the surface. The elevator holds 36 persons (nine per car) and takes some 30 seconds to reach the surface.
Getting to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from Krakow shouldn’t prove too difficult or expensive. Regular buses run from the top of Starowislna Street opposite the Main Post Office, taking around forty minutes to get there. Be warned that buses are a little cramped and we advise you check departure details at one of Krakow’s tourist information offices as these routes chop and change quite a bit. You’re best asking a friendly Pole where to get off too, as this is a public bus not a tourist service.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland:
Where is the Salt Mine located? The Salt Mine is located in the town of Wieliczka, which is about 15 km (9 miles) southwest of Krakow, Poland.
What is the history of the Salt Mine? The Wieliczka Salt Mine has a long history dating back to the 13th century. It was one of the first salt mines in Europe to be converted into a tourist attraction, and it has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century. The mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been recognized as one of the most valuable cultural and natural assets in Poland.
Is the Salt Mine open to the public? Yes, the mine is open to the public. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poland, and it attracts over 1 million visitors each year.
Is there a cost to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine? Yes, there is a fee for visitors to enter the Salt Mine. The cost of admission varies depending on the type of tour you choose and the time of year you visit.
Are there guided tours of the Wieliczka Salt Mine? Yes, guided tours of the Salt Mine are available for visitors. The tours are offered in a variety of languages, including English, and they take visitors through the underground tunnels and chambers of the mine.
Is the Wieliczka Salt Mine wheelchair accessible? The mine is partially wheelchair accessible. Some areas of the mine are only accessible by stairs, but there are also some areas that can be accessed by elevator. It is recommended to contact the mine in advance to inquire about specific accessibility details.
Silesia Voivodeship is located in southern Poland and has the city of Katowiceas its capital. The province is one of the most important industrial regions of Poland with a proud history of mining.
Industry & mining
Silesia is known for its industrial heritage and thriving coal mining industry. Visitors can explore the region's rich history by visiting the Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park, a living museum showcasing the traditional culture and customs of the region. Another must-see attraction is the Black Trout Adit, an underground mine open for tours.
There’s much more to the Silesia Voivodeship than industry, the region also has 8 Landscape Parks including: the Eagle Nests Landscape Park, the Little Beskids Landscape Park and the Silesian Beskids Landscape Park. You’ll also find nature preserves and mountain ranges within the region.
Trail of the Eagles Nests
Taking the Trail of the Eagles Nests is a great way to explore many historical sites including a chain of 25 medieval castles between Częstochowa and Kraków. The trail has been named the “Eagle's Nests”, as most of the castles are located on large, tall rocks of the Polish Jura Chain featuring many limestone cliffs, monadnocks and valleys below.
The town of Bielsko-Biała is surrounded by the Beskidy Mountains and this part of the region is very popular with winter sports enthusiasts. There are around 200 km of ski routes to enjoy serviced by over 150 ski lifts. Many of the ski slopes are equipped with artificial snow generators and are illuminated at night. The most visited winter resorts are Szczyrk, Brenna, Wisła and Ustroń.
Each year, millions of pilgrims from all over Poland flock to Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, mainly to see the blessed icon of the Black Madonna. Pilgrims travel on foot for several days often covering hundreds of kilometres.
Towns & villages
The region is also home to a number of picturesque towns and villages, including the charming town of Cieszyn, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and the beautiful Teschen Palace. The palace is a former residence of the Habsburgs, which is now a museum open to visitors.
In terms of culture, Silesia is famous for its rich tradition of folk music, dance, and costumes. Visitors can experience this firsthand by attending one of the region's many folk festivals, such as the Festival of Folk Bands in Pszczyna or the Festival of Silesian Folklore in Racibórz.
Silesia is a diverse and fascinating region that offers something for everyone. From history and culture to outdoor activities and delicious food, there's no shortage of things to see and do. Start planning your trip to Silesia today and discover all that this amazing region has to offer.
Lower Silesia, also known as Dolnośląskie, is a region located in the southwestern part of Poland. It is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful natural landscapes. The region is home to many tourist attractions that are sure to appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Lower Silesia is the city of Wrocław. This charming city is the largest in the region and is known for its well-preserved old town, which is filled with beautiful architecture and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the city's many museums, including the National Museum, which houses a collection of Polish art, and the Ethnographic Museum, which offers a glimpse into the region's traditional way of life.
Another popular attraction in Lower Silesia is the Karkonosze Mountains. This beautiful mountain range is located on the border of Poland and the Czech Republic and is a popular spot for hiking and skiing. Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the mountain and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Karkonosze National Park is also a great destination for nature lovers, with its many trails, waterfalls, and wildlife.
Castles and palaces
The region is also home to many castles and palaces, which are a testament to its rich history. One of the most famous of these is the Książ Castle, which is located in the city of Wałbrzych. This magnificent castle was built in the 13th century and has been beautifully restored. Visitors can explore the castle's many rooms and galleries and learn about its history.
Another popular destination in Lower Silesia is the town of Jelenia Góra. This picturesque town is located in the heart of the Karkonosze Mountains and is known for its beautiful architecture and charming streets. Visitors can explore the town's many churches and museums, including the Museum of the Karkonosze Mountains, which offers a glimpse into the region's natural history.
For those interested in outdoor activities, Lower Silesia offers many opportunities for hiking, skiing, and cycling. The Sudety Mountains and Karkonosze Mountains are popular destinations for hiking and skiing, while the Odra River valley offers many opportunities for cycling. There are also many beautiful lakes and rivers, such as Śnieżka, where visitors can enjoy water sports and fishing.
Lower Silesia is also known for its delicious cuisine. The region is home to many traditional dishes, such as pierogi, bigos, and kiełbasa, which can be found in restaurants throughout the region. Visitors can also try local specialties, such as smoked meats and cheeses, as well as traditional beers and wines.
In conclusion, Lower Silesia is a region with a rich history and culture, and offers a wide range of tourist attractions. From charming cities and beautiful natural landscapes to castles and palaces, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor activities, Lower Silesia is the perfect destination for your next vacation.
Q: What is Lower Silesia also known as? A: It is also known as Dolnośląskie.
Q: What is the largest city in Lower Silesia? A: The largest city in the region is Wrocław.
Q: What is the famous mountain range in Lower Silesia? A: The famous mountain range in the region is the Karkonosze Mountains.
Q: What is the famous castle in Lower Silesia? A: The famous castle in the region is the Książ Castle.
Q: What is the most popular town in Lower Silesia? A: The most popular town in the region is the Jelenia Góra.
Q: What are the popular outdoor activities in Lower Silesia? A: Popular outdoor activities in the region include hiking, skiing, and cycling.
Q: Are there any lakes and rivers in Lower Silesia? A: Yes, there are many beautiful lakes and rivers in the region, such as Śnieżka, where visitors can enjoy water sports and fishing.
Q: Is Lower Silesia a good destination for history and culture enthusiasts? A: Yes, Lower Silesia is known for its rich history and culture, and offers many historical landmarks, museums, and traditional villages to explore.