Monday, June 30, 2014
Wieliczka Mine - POLAND - UNESCO #32
Lots of people don't realise today the major importance that salt had in world history and civilization development - we take it for granted this days but centuries ago is was very important and with great value, even used as a payment method (have you ever wonder where the word "Salary" come from?). This 2 major mines in Poland were almost as important as a precious metal or gemstone mine, and on the tunnels several churches were built and carved on the stone. According to the sender, the Wieliczka site is beautiful but unfortunately very crowded so she prefers Bochnia. Thank you my dear Natalia for this card and your nice message - this is my 412th UNESCO postcard, only 595 to finish this collection. This postcard took 13 days to arrive!
The deposit of rock salt in Wieliczka and Bochnia has been mined since the 13th century. This major industrial undertaking has royal status and is the oldest of its type in Europe. The site is a serial property consisting of Wieliczka and Bochnia salt mines and Wieliczka Saltworks Castle. Both mines have hundreds of kilometers of galleries with works of art, underground chapels and statues sculpted in the salt, making a fascinating pilgrimage into the past. The mines were administratively and technically run by Wieliczka Saltworks Castle, which dates from the medieval period and has been rebuilt several times in the course of its history.