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The Beautiful Underbelly of Krakow

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Krakow has been the royal capital of Poland for more than 500 years and has a
rich history dating back long before this. Today’s Krakow can now boast more
historical monuments, buildings, and artworks than most Western European
cities. Visitors to Krakow will love strolling through the narrow alleys,
enjoying the silence of the Jewish quarter, exploring the vast Wawel Castle,
and accidentally stumbling on hidden jazz clubs and culinary delights.

For a city which holds reminds of a recent tragedy, most notably Auschwitz
which is located just a short bus ride from the city center, Krakow is full of
life and beauty. One of the most beautiful of all of Krakow’s attractions is
located in its underbelly: The Wieliczka Salt Mines. Just about 10 miles from
the city center, Wieliczka (vyeh-leech-kah) has been open continuously for over
900 years and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

Leaving the impressive Krakow city center for a day trip to salt mines doesn’t
sound like a lot of fun. However, the Wieliczka Salt Mines has attracted
thousands of tourists including many celebrities. The mine today has about 200
kilometers of tunnels and more than 2,000 caverns. During special events,
visitors to Wieliczka can even hear concerts in the larger caverns of the salt
mine.

The tour starts by taking you 64 meters underground with a 380-step staircase.
Visitors will be able to explore 20 of the manmade caverns and marvel over the
stunning salt formations. There are also several underground chapels where
miners would pray before the start of their day working in the dangerous
underground. The tour takes you right into the oldest parts of the salt mine
and ends 135 meters below the earth’s surface at the world’s largest mining
museum. The 3-hour tour is not only a completely unique experience, it is one
that you won’t ever forget.

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