This Salt Mine Has Chapels, Underground Lakes, and Chandeliers Made of Salt

When you’re cooking, you probably reach for the salt shaker at some point to season your food. Salt is a staple and there have been wars fought over it. However, salt is also beautiful and that is evident by some photos that recently surfaced of the Wieliczka salt mine near Krakow, Poland. The Wieliczka mine was opened in the 13th century and is on the list for First UNESCO World Heritage List, and with good reasons. The mine reaches 1072 feet into the earth at its deepest point and has 2,000 chambers, including underground lakes and chapels that have huge chandeliers.

But here’s what’s remarkable about this. Everything inside is made of salt and it’s absolutely exquisite. The walls, ceiling, statues, and even the chandeliers are all made of salt. The mine’s history dates back to the Middle ages, and back then the mine was called “The Great Salt,” or Magnum Sal. At that time in the 13th century, the mine was the largest salt source in the entire country, and it was crucial to Poland’s economy. Now, the mine is one of Poland’s most popular tourist attractions. In an interview with Bored Panda, marketing director Aleksandra Sieradzka confirmed that everything in there is made of salt.

She explained that even the floor and corridors are made of salt. In the mine are two chapels: St. Anthony and St. Kinga, and both are made completely of salt, and that includes the statues of the saints and altars, all of which were carved by the sculptor miners. As for the chandeliers, they’re made of crystal sale, which is the very purest salt. The white beams that you can see in the photos were added as braces to reinforce the mine and protect it. Salt has a hardness that’s similar in strength to gypsum. Also, salt processing isn’t difficult, but to carve professionally in salt requires a lot of experience.

Part of the problem is that every single block of salt is different. Let’s check out some of these photos.

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Take a video tour below.



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