Travel around Poland – Wielicka Salt mine
This is one of episodes of our travel around Poland, although we have visited this country many time. On Saturday, after a night spent in Krakow, we visited Wieliczka salt mine what is one of the world’s oldest operating salt mines – it is in operation since Middle Ages. Salt mine is also on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites since 1978. This site represents the progress of mining technology, the development of work organization and management. Over more than 700 years, 7.5 million m³ of post-excavation voids were drilled in Wieliczka.
The mine is normally open for visitors from 9am to 5pm, adult ticket costs approximately 22 Euro per person. Visitors should be aware that the route includes approximately 800 stairs the temperature underground in the mine is about 17–18ºC. During one of the stops it is even possible to buy cold and hot drinks and snacks. Town Wieliczka is located in Krakow metropolitan area and can be reached easily; cheap parking spaces are available all around mine close to its entrance.
Area around Krakow
Before coming back home, we continued our travel around Poland and were wandering around another surrounding area of Krakow. That’s how we found a small town decorated with “palms” made from pussy willow twigs during Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a commemoration of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and people in Poland follow these traditions every year. Some of these creations were really tall, even up to 35 meters high!
Near Krakow there also is famous religious object since 1999 listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site – monastery, landscape and pilgrimage park in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. We went there for a moment to see how the monastery looks both from inside and from outside. If you are somewhere near there, this place is worth of visiting.
Jasna Gora monastery
On the way home we had booked hotel in polish cityCzestochowa. It was a good reason to visit famous Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora. Millions of pilgrims every year are visiting monastery to see painting of Black Madonna. This is the only available icon of Black Madonna in Poland; there are about 21 paintings of Black Madonna in France, although this one in Czestochowa is also well known abroad.
Monastery itself looks fantastic on the top of the Jasna Gora hill, especially in the evening during golden hour before the sunset. It is possible to park car near to entrance of the monastery. If you are passing Czestochowa, visiting the monastery may be very good idea. Whole complex is organised really visitor-friendly. You can spend there a few hours relaxing and, even if you are an atheist, enjoying creations of humans made to praise God.
Other great Polish sites
According to my experience, I would also recommend to visit other interesting sites in Poland, for example, capital city of Poland Warsaw, old town of Poznan, medieval castle in Malbork, which is UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1997. Southern and south-western parts of Poland are known as ski resorts. Especially nice is Zakopane area located in Tatra mountains.