Address: Wieliczka (Małopolskie)
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Wieliczka salt mine: how would an underground dwarf mine-fortress look like - really

2015-05-13 Khaiell

Peter Jackson's crew made a great work portraying the Mines of Moria in their movies. If you want to see something eerie similar in real life, you can visit one of the original 12 Unesco World Heritage Sites, namely the Wieliczka salt mine near Krakow, Poland

Picture described below
Underground chapel in Wieliczka salt mines
Underground chapel in Wieliczka salt minesChiseled underground bust of King Casimir III the GreatChiseled underground relief of King Herod and his soldiersChiseled underground statueMedieval mining operationMedieval mining operation (scaled model)Chiseled underground door

The mine has been operational in one form or another since the neolithic age and the current organisation running it claims to have over 700 years of continuos history.

The site itself is 327m deep and it takes around three hours to explore just the casual tourist route. More experienced travellers can opt to have a real journey in the dark organised by a guide. Nikolaus Copernicus and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe both visited the depths 500 and 200 years ago respectively.

It's not just the site being a mine that makes it dwarven but rather the huge halls with spiralling, gravity-defying staircases, lavishly decorated with sculptures and reliefs chiseled by the miners themselves. In the parts open to public there are also medieval machines reconstructed for further reference.

Note that I took the pictures during a casual trip, some 90 meters below ground with mining lamps being the only source of light.

See the pictures as separate pages: Underground chapel in Wieliczka salt mines * Underground chapel in Wieliczka salt mines * Chiseled underground bust of King Casimir III the Great * Chiseled underground relief of King Herod and his soldiers * Chiseled underground statue * …more

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