Bochnia Salt Mine

Bochnia, Poland

The Bochnia Salt Mine is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest one in Poland. The mine was established between the 12th and 13th centuries after salt was first discovered in Bochnia, and became part of the Royal mining company żupy krakowskie (Kraków salt works).

The mine was closed some time after World War I. In 1981 it was declared a heritage monument. The site is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments, as designated October 6, 2000, and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.

The mine shafts measure 4.5 kilometres in length at about 330–468 metres in depth below the surface, at 16 different levels. The August Passage is the main communication and transportation route in the mine. It runs from the east to the west of mine, connecting in a straight line the bottom ends of the Campi and Sutoris shafts. It is situated at a depth of 176m - from the top of the Sutoris shaft and the depth of 212m counting from the top of the Campi shaft. The August Passage was initially called the Long Stove. Its first part, extending between the Rabsztyn Chute and a Campi Shaft was built in the years 1723-1743, in accordance with a design by Jan Gottfried borlach. His great achievements was to regulate routes in the mine by ensuring their straightening and leveling. As a result of this, over the next decades, the August Passage was able to reach a length of nearly 3-km. Excavated chambers, shafts and passages form an underground town, which is now open to sightseers. The largest of the preserved chambers has been converted into a sanatorium.

The Ważyn Chamber was named after the name of the administrator Andrzej Ważyński. The deepness of this chamber, the biggest in Bochnia Salt Mine, is 248m, its length - 255m, its maximum width 14,4m and maximum height 7,2m. The chamber uses no supporting pillars. Salt from Ważyn chamber was extracted from 1697 until the 1950s.

In 2013 the mine was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as an extension of the Wieliczka Salt Mine inscription of 1978.

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Campi, Bochnia, Poland
See all sites in Bochnia

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Poland

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pankaj Kumar (6 months ago)
It was not big as Wieliczka, but good enough.There are not many attractions to see and most of the time we were walking and listening to guide's commentary in Polish. Guide was good and had good sense of humor. Train ride, underground-restaurant and sports facilities were highlights. Commuting from Bochnia was poor. Hardly any taxi at railway ? and was lucky to get one. During return no ? available, so you have to call a Taxi and they charge return fare. Walking is 1.8 kms away. Outside restaurant is good. Kids have playground. For non-Polish people, it is not recommended unless you book a English guide before coming.
Rado Pavelko (6 months ago)
Very nice place. Great 3 hours tour. Good for kids from 4 year old.
Ilya Skoryak (9 months ago)
Definetely recomend this salt mine for visiting! In tour are weaved multimedia installations, when founders of the salt mine (King Kazimierz, Italian merchants) are telling their stories from screen. During 4 hours trip we have passed all main attractions, and took the underground rook trip. There're underground concert halls, sleeping rooms, gyms. Very appealing trip!
Luna (10 months ago)
Interesting place to visit. The first hour was the most interesting, and the place has a cheesy way of presenting what they teach about the mine: With hilariously acted videos on screens and weird puppets. It was informative but also led to a lot of giggles from the group I was with. It was annoying that the first part of the trip after being led down into the mine was mostly a "walk to another screen or scene and see some actor pretend to be a famous king" but it was alright. There was a section where you're led up a bunch of stairs to be shown some very interesting markings and remnants of the work being done in the mines, and being a tall person I had no issues on the way up; Heading down from this part was another story. The stairs were not built with much clearance which required me to duck (understandable) but I wish there was a warning that I might need to watch out for smacking my head that way. After going down that part, you're led to a giant ramp with "stairs" (wooden slats stuck into the ground, not flat) that lead down into the Ważyn chamber, which is a really cool thing to see. On our tour, they advertized the fact you can pay to stay down in the chamber on some bunk beds, then we were led down a very, very long set of corridors for the boat ride, which was massively underwhelming. You walk forever to get to it, you wait a long time, and then it ends up being a 2 minute ride through a part of a cavern they explain they intentionally flood and keep having to fill, meaning the whole thing is just for tourism. After that, they brought the group back to the Ważyn chamber, where they give you 45 minutes to buy food from the Cafeteria and gifts at the Gift Shop. While it's nice to have a break, basically being forced to stay underground in the mine, after 2 hours of the tour, with "conveniently placed" food and drink feels like a really cheap business tactic. Overall it was very interesting, but I heard from someone else in my group that the Wieliczka Mine is more interesting overall. Probably won't visit again.
Yury Ramanousky (2 years ago)
I liked this muzeum a lot. It's not so popular as Wieliczka, but also very interesting. I enjoyed multimedialne parts and stories from the guide :) I suggest to buy tickets online in advance. It would be almost impossible to buy tickets directly before the visit due to amount of tourists. I also don't suggest to buy tickets with the underground lake trip. This is really small channel, about 2 meters width. The trip goes about 4 minutes in dark. So it's not very exciting:)
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