Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Wieliczka Salt Mines

One of the world’s oldest salt mines, the Wieliczka Salt Mines near Krakow, Poland, has been producing since the 13th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mine features salt sculptures, reliefs, salt floor tiles and, what I found especially fascinating, even salt crystal chandeliers.

The history of salt and its effect on our health and lives is very, very interesting. Did you know that our word salary comes from sal, meaning salt? There was a time that workers were paid in salt, more precious to them than gold. Come to think of it, salt is still more useful than gold in our everyday lives.

A salt statue of Pope John Paul overlooks the grand hall. Statues of this first Polish Pope are ubiquitous throughout Poland.

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