Home / NEWS / Poland’s Magnificent Wieliczka Salt Mine Is More Like a Fairy Tale Castle Which Will Blow Your Mind

Poland’s Magnificent Wieliczka Salt Mine Is More Like a Fairy Tale Castle Which Will Blow Your Mind

By Andrew Alpin, 4 November 2022

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5 Salt crystals were used to create chandeliers and various artistic works

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In Poland’s Wieliczka salt mine, salt crystals were used to make glamorous chandeliers. Due to the salinity of underground water, the air is damp. Over time, this causes salt crystals to form everywhere, making stalactites and covering things. There are dioramas all over the museum that show the history and methods of mining. A scene, also made out of salt, shows St. Kinga. Legend has it that she asked for her wedding dowry to be in salt and then made the Wieliczka salt mine appear by magic.

Salt crystals were used to create chandeliers and various artistic works

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6 The story of St. Kinga, the patron saint of miners, is carved in salt

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How did St. Kinga get Poland to have a salt mine? It’s not simple. UNESCO says that this is how the story goes: Kinga, a princess from Hungary, was supposed to get married to Duke Bolesaw of Poland. Both of them were wealthy, so she didn’t think it was necessary for her to bring money to the wedding. She asked her father to make her dowry up of salt instead. It was hard to do this because it would take a whole salt mine. Her father took her to a salt mine in Hungary to demonstrate his point.

The story of St. Kinga, the patron saint of miners, is carved in salt

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7 Kinga dropped her engagement ring down the mine shaft to ask God for help

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She got married and moved to Poland, where something amazing happened. She was walking around her new estate when she told her men to start digging. They found huge amounts of salt. One of her men gave her a lump of white rock salt to show her what they had found.

When she broke it open, she found her wedding ring inside. She had dropped it into a mine in Hungary. With her ring, she had somehow brought a salt mine to Poland. The salt that was found there made her people very rich, and Kinga was said to be a kind and fair leader. She was later made a saint.

Kinga dropped her engagement ring down the mine shaft to ask God for help

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8 The salt comes in different colors in the mine

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Wieliczka salt comes in several shades of green, grey, and gold. St. Kinga’s chapel sculptor used honey-colored rock salt to highlight baby Jesus in the nativity scene. Most of the salt at Wieliczka is green. The honey-colored fore-shaft salt is one of the most valuable types of salt found in the mine.

The salt comes in different colors in the mine

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