Salt Of The Earth


Eight miles south of Krakow and a considerable distance below it, the Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines contain a religious complex chiseled entirely out of halite, or rock salt:

The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation.

Unesco recently expanded its World Heritage Site designation for the complex, which also features salt chandeliers and a salt John Paul II. More photos here.

(Photo: Detail from Bochnia Salt Mine, Małopolski Instytut Kultury)