Wieliczka Salt Mine (Poland)
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. Opened in the 13th century, the mine produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines in operation. Throughout, the royal mine was run by the Żupy krakowskie Salt Mines company.
Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding. The mine is currently one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments, whose attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners, as well as supplemental carvings made by contemporary artists.