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Inside an ancient Polish salt mine that has underground lakes, fully carved chapels, and chandeliers made of salt

INSIDER Logo By mjankowicz@businessinsider.com (Mia Jankowicz) of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 24: The ancient Wieliczka salt mine, begun in the 13th century, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.The mine produced enormous wealth for Poland. But it also become a cultural treasure trove, filled with natural wonders like underground lakes and elaborate salt carvings.The mine's caverns have been used to host royalty and world leaders as well as a world record attempt in underground ballooning.Visitors can travel almost 450 feet down and wander through a portion of the mine's 152 miles of passageways.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.The Wieliczka salt mine, near Krakow in southern Poland, is one of the world's oldest continually operating mines and a UNESCO World Heritage site.It has been mined since the 13th century.The hollowed-out caverns left from digging have been transformed over the years into fairytale spaces: Great halls lit by salt chandeliers, chapels devoted to Polish saints, and walkways built to view underground lakes. Many of the miners would become artists once they'd finished their dangerous work, carving intricate designs into the rock salt.Continuous mining stopped in 1996, and it is now primarily a tourist venue. You can still visit the mine on walking tours that take you almost 450 feet underground.Here's what you'll see if you visit Wieliczka salt mine. Source: Wieliczka Salt Mine.Read the original article on Insider

Inside an ancient Polish salt mine that has underground lakes, fully carved chapels, and chandeliers made of salt

  • The ancient Wieliczka salt mine, begun in the 13th century, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • The mine produced enormous wealth for Poland. But it also become a cultural treasure trove, filled with natural wonders like underground lakes and elaborate salt carvings.
  • The mine's caverns have been used to host royalty and world leaders as well as a world record attempt in underground ballooning.
  • Visitors can travel almost 450 feet down and wander through a portion of the mine's 152 miles of passageways.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Wieliczka salt mine, near Krakow in southern Poland, is one of the world's oldest continually operating mines and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It has been mined since the 13th century.

The hollowed-out caverns left from digging have been transformed over the years into fairytale spaces: Great halls lit by salt chandeliers, chapels devoted to Polish saints, and walkways built to view underground lakes. 

Many of the miners would become artists once they'd finished their dangerous work, carving intricate designs into the rock salt.

Continuous mining stopped in 1996, and it is now primarily a tourist venue. You can still visit the mine on walking tours that take you almost 450 feet underground.

Here's what you'll see if you visit Wieliczka salt mine. 

Source: Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Read the original article on Insider
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