Sitting on everyone’s kitchen counter is the kitchen staple so basic it’s borderline boring. And as I write, I’m already thinking of salt more than I have in this past year combined.

But the Wieliczka salt mine, near Krakow, Poland proves that salt can be a masterpiece on its own. The mine was first opened in the 13th century, and today, it’s a part of the First UNESCO World Heritage List. For a reason! The salt mine, which reaches -1072 ft at its deepest point, features underground lakes, 2,000 chambers, and chapels equipped with enormous chandeliers. And if that wasn’t enough, every little thing is made of salt. The mine is so unreal, it brings to mind a level in Tomb Raider, rather than a place thanks to which I season my dinner.

More info: Wieliczka-SaltMine.com

#1

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Ann
Community Member
5 months ago

Had my prom down there in the late 90s. If you never moshed to Nirvana 125 metres underground, well, your loss.

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#2

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

agsaz Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

This is the biggest chapel in this mine with the most figurines and decorations. The walls, the floor, the ceiling, the statues are all salt! Our guide told us we can taste it. Licked a finger damp, rubbed it against basically anything, and tasted it. Yup, it's salt. Haha, kinda gross but gotta try it.

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#3

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

reeve_05 Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

Being an underground lake without any other influences, this lake is so eerily still and quiet with the most pure color.

Anwar uz Zaman
Community Member
5 months ago

Think the water density is high. You can't sink, like in Dead Sea.

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Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
5 months ago

These are the things we need to teach in school.

JESUS ALVIDREZ
Community Member
5 months ago

Can you swim in the lake?

david kohn
Community Member
5 months ago

it looks like one of those pics of the titanic

Colleen Garland
Community Member
5 months ago

It's surreal.

Jody Brown
Community Member
5 months ago

Hold my beer.

Christy Arington
Community Member
5 months ago

So beautiful. I want to swim in it.

John C
Community Member
5 months ago

This reminds me of a scuba destination in Missouri - so still, serene and clear, like diving in a bottle of water. Incredible. Google Bonne Terre.

Anwar uz Zaman
Community Member
5 months ago

Think the water density is high. You can't sink, like in Dead Sea.

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

Again very beautiful and interesting!

Cheryl Messercola
Community Member
5 months ago

BEAUTIFUL

Susie Swearingen-Kamachi
Community Member
5 months ago

I’m going to assume it salt water.

Amy Pontious
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful

Nurse Bambi
Community Member
5 months ago

Gorgeous

Anton Montaut
Community Member
5 months ago

Wonder if its salty? ;P

Zygmunt Dytmar Wziątek
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Yes, it is very salty. I know, I was there more than once.

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The history of Wieliczka salt mine dates back to the Middle Ages, when it used to be called the Magnum Sal, or the Great Salt. In the 13th century, it was the largest source of salt in the country, which was crucial to the country’s economy. Today, it’s one of the main tourist attractions in Poland.

Bored Panda contacted Aleksandra Sieradzka from the marketing and communications department at the Wieliczka Salt Mine to find out more about this breathtaking place.

Aleksandra told us that all the 2000 chambers in the mine are carved of salt. “The corridors and even the floor are made of salt.” There two chapels of St. Kinga and St. Anthony that are both made entirely of salt, including the altars and the statues of saints that were carved by the sculptor miners. “The chandeliers also contain crystal salt—the purest type of salt.”

#4

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

travelist.pl Report

Jody Brown
Community Member
5 months ago

This would make the greatest escape room!

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#5

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

joshread7 Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

The white beams are braces added to reinforce the mine. The brown wood platforms with the decorative chisels are the walking paths for tourists. It's a maze here, guided tours only.

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#6

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Alexandra Amaral
Community Member
5 months ago

I FEEL LIKE IN A DARK MAGES CAVE IN SKYRIM <3

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Salt may seem like a fragile and delicate material, but it has a hardness similar to that of gypsum. “The processing of salt itself is not difficult; however, in order to professionally carve in salt, one needs to have a lot of experience with this material,” explained Aleksandra. “Every block of salt is different—it differs not only in size or hardness, but also in color, which can be used in an interesting way in the act of creation.”

Aleksandra confirmed that, if you’re lucky, you can pop into a party or two at the Mine. “That is true, there are a couple of chambers where you can have a party. One big ballroom (Warszawa Chamber) and a few smaller ones. The Mine is famous for its New Year’s concerts that take place during the first weekend of January.”

#7

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

ryszard_wolski Report

Esca Sav
Community Member
5 months ago

They have mass here every Sunday by the way! I visited with my family a few years ago, one of the most beautiful things you could see with your own eyes. Highly recommend it when this virus goes away...

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#8

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

theglobalite Report

Esca Sav
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm not 100% sure if this is the room BUT, there is a hall in the mine that can be used for wedding parties and concerts (you can get married at the chapel here). I forgot how many people it can fit, but it is beautiful.

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#9

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

large_planet Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

All the grey surfaces are salt, walls, floors, ceilings, stairs.

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We can only imagine how enormous the whole underground structure is, because only 2% of it is accessible to tourists. Meanwhile, the salt mine corridors form an actual labyrinth which stretches up to a whopping 498 ft in length. There are 9 levels in total and the lowest one is located at 1072 ft below ground.

But Wieliczka is only the fifth-biggest salt mine out there. Ontario is home to the biggest one in the world, which is located 1800 ft under Lake Huron. Compass Minerals’ Goderich salt mine is as deep as the CN Tower in Toronto is tall. The second-biggest is Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan, and the third place belongs to Prahova Salt Mine in Romania.

#10

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Jill Peters
Community Member
5 months ago

Unbelievably

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#11

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Amy Pontious
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful!

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#12

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

bettieschade Report

RitaGG
Community Member
5 months ago

Knives Out - salt style.

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#13

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

giovanniluigipernice Report

Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Community Member
5 months ago

Eerily beautiful!

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#14

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

Definitely looks like the Mine of Moria. Let's hope a Balrog does not live here.

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#15

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Jerry Stover
Community Member
5 months ago

Knock on wood!

#16

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

majka78 Report

Just Carmen
Community Member
5 months ago

This looks like it's straight out of the Mines of Moria.

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#17

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

The sound should be awesome!

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#18

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

sofia_aziz_ Report

Alexandra Amaral
Community Member
5 months ago

I FEEL IN A DARK MAGE'S CAVE IN SKYRIM<3

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#19

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

Gorgeous reflection with the grotto

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#20

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful and unique!

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#21

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

large_planet Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

Errie shot. Feels like the Addam's Family should live here.

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#22

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

prslvts Report

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
5 months ago

Tastefully elegant.

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#23

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

lomakina_irina Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

I love this it appears to be almost clear by the light!

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#24

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Jill Peters
Community Member
5 months ago

Reminds me of the underground tunnels in Slovenia.

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#25

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

johnalthom13 Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

The lights and coloring are so beautiful!

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#26

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

Beautiful pic of Our Savior and Lord!

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#27

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczka_city Report

Annamarie Dodge
Community Member
5 months ago

almost like carlsbad caverns

#28

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Teresa Groth
Community Member
5 months ago

The work and effort to make this place of beauty was staggeringly and eminently breathtaking in my opinion!

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#29

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Al Reilly
Community Member
5 months ago

My knees would be toast after those stairs!!

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#30

Wieliczka-Salt-Mine-Poland

wieliczkasaltmine Report

Ed Martin
Community Member
5 months ago

Everything about this place is so beautiful wonderful, it just feeds the imagination in so many ways. I would love to know who carved the statues, who made the beautiful Chandeliers and how long has it taken to do all this. Thank you Bored Panda Staff for this which as usual is what you do best only the most beautiful post and I love them all. Ed

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Note: this post originally had 41 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.