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Amazing Travel Series # 1 : The Amazing Sub-Terranean World of Wieliczka, Poland

Updated on October 14, 2012

With the presence of modern gadgets and updates on internet, traveling can be as cheap as buying junk foods at the nearest mini-store. Travel promos are everywhere.

I came up with the idea of sharing what I read, experienced and what's on my bucket list to all readers and hubbers alike as I start this initial installment on Amazing Travel series.

I've read about Wieliczka Salt Mine and I was captivated with the vivid photos that the writer shared in his article.

I included it in my future travel itinerary in order to see, admire and explore in person the labyrinth of salt structures that are drawing more and more tourists in Poland as the years go by.

Still an operational salt mine, Wieliczka Salt Mine is more of a tourist attraction than a job site as it was chosen by the UNESCO as one of the first world heritage sites.

Kinga Church - the underground splendor of Wieliczka saltmine
Kinga Church - the underground splendor of Wieliczka saltmine | Source

Poland is synonymously popular with the beatified Pope John Paul II. Equally famous is the former saltmine in the southern part of the country, known as Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Seven centuries of continuous mining, ten million cubic yards dug out by hand, an underground universe with more than 2000 chambers and caverns, you need maps to get around, to walk and climb it all would take weeks.

The temperature drops from 28 degrees Celsius above ground to a constant 14, and the humidity rise to more than 90 percent.

Weiliczka is an operating salt mine, museum of mining technology, repository of amateur art and dazzling show of natural phenomena. And that's beccause of the most abundant salt deposit on Earth ever found. It's a very unique netherworld!

You could expect to see the magnificent Blessed Kinga Chapel inside the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Other is St. Antoniego Chapel with its life-size sculptures carved by Mieczslaw Kluzek.

Over the centuries, artistic miners have created sculptures out of salt. You can pass statues and monuments paying homage to kings and national heroes of Poland. Then like I've mentioned, the most remarkable chambers of all - three large chapels brilliantly bathed in the magical light of salt crystal chandeliers.

In 1978 the Wieliczka Salt Mine became one of the first 12 sites around the globe to be placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Wieliczka Salt Mine c/o unesco

What a tourist can see at the map of Wielickzka Saltmine
What a tourist can see at the map of Wielickzka Saltmine | Source

The Road to Wieliczka Salt Mine

A markerWieliczka Salt Mine -
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Jana Mikołaja Daniłowicza 10, 32-020 Gmina Wieliczka, Poland
get directions

Choosing a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Just recently, the New Seven Wonders of the world have been vote up by people around the world, that will also be included as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Because of the drastic changes happening in our world, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to take care of the cultural and physical aspects of member-nations of UN since 1945.

Aside from the so-called wonders of the world, there are sites that are considered endangered as nature intervened in the preservation of such sites.

We can easily suggest the local tourist spots in our place to be included as world heritage sites that will be funded by UNESCO if it draws approval from a lot of organizations, people groups or non-government organizations.

It takes time, years or even decade to settle a dispute or contest regarding the inclusion of a particular forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building or even city.

As of 2011, 936 sites are listed: 725 cultural, 183 natural, and 28 mixed properties, in 153 States Parties. Italy has the greater number (47 to be exact) of world cultural heritage sites than any other countries.

Once a local site is included in the World Heritage sites, UNESCO will open its concern to the international community who in turn will help take care of that preserved spot.

More Info about Wieliczka Salt Mine.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Monis Mas: Wow! You're so lucky! You better share your experience here on HubPages. All of us will be delighted. :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      I visited Wieliczka once, and it was a fascinating experience! A bit creepy at times though, since you are going in the elevator so deep into the ground. And it is getting colder, the lower you get! But it's worth it, the salt sculptures are fantastic!

      Great hub!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @unknown spy: Thanks for appreciating my work.

      This hub is part of my wish-list as told to me by my fellow seafarer.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      I LOVE I LOVE AND I REALLY LOVE your hubs on your travels. Oh how i wish I could see these places someday!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      The past 10 days saw me a very busy hubber just like you. I often neglected to leave answers on comments such as these due to the recent literary and photo contest on HubPages.

      For now...

      @sestasik: Thanks for your hub-visit and nice impression regarding this hub.

      @France Travel Inf: This is really a great inclusion on your travel's itinerary.

      @Millionaire Tips: They really are awesome. It's one of Poland's tourist attractions.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      This looks like a great place - I hadn't heard of salt sculptures, but they look incredible.

    • France Travel Inf profile image

      France Travel Inf 6 years ago

      Well done! Poland is on our bucket list also and you've given us some great ideas.

    • profile image

      sestasik 6 years ago

      Nice information!