Travel around Poland

Saturs pieejams arī latviski 

Wielicka Salt mine

This is one of the episodes of our travel around Poland during the Easter celebrations, although we have visited this country many times. On Saturday, after a night spent in Krakow, we visited Wieliczka salt mine which is one of the world’s oldest operating salt mines – it is in operation since the Middle Ages. The salt mine is also on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites since 1978. This site represents the progress of mining technology, the development of work organization and management. Over more than 700 years, 7.5 million m³ of post-excavation voids were drilled in Wieliczka.

The mine is normally open for visitors from 9am to 5pm, adult ticket costs approximately 22 Euro per person. Visitors should be aware that the route includes approximately 800 stairs the temperature underground in the mine is about 17–18ºC. During one of the stops, it is even possible to buy cold and hot drinks and snacks. Town Wieliczka is located in the Krakow metropolitan area and can be reached easily; cheap parking spaces are available all around mine close to its entrance.

Area around Krakow

Before coming back home, we continued our travel around Poland and wandered around another surrounding area of Krakow. That’s how we found a small town decorated with “palms” made from pussy willow twigs during Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a commemoration of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and people in Poland follow these traditions every year. Some of these creations were really tall, even up to 35 meters high!

Near Krakow there also is a famous religious object listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1999 – a monastery, landscape and pilgrimage park in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. We went there for a moment to see how the monastery looks both from inside and from outside. If you are somewhere near there, this place is worth visiting.

Jasna Gora monastery

On the way home we booked a hotel in the Polish city Czestochowa. It was a good reason to visit the famous Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora. Millions of pilgrims every year visit the monastery to see a painting of Black Madonna. This is the only available icon of Black Madonna in Poland; there are about 21 paintings of Black Madonna in France, although this one in Czestochowa is also well known abroad.
The monastery itself looks fantastic on the top of the Jasna Gora hill, especially in the evening during the golden hour before the sunset.

It is possible to park the car near to entrance of the monastery. If you are passing Czestochowa, visiting the monastery may be a very good idea. The whole complex is really visitor-friendly. You can spend a few hours relaxing and, even if you are an atheist, enjoying the creations of humans made to praise God.

Other great Polish sites

According to my experience, I would also recommend visiting other interesting sites in Poland, for example, the capital city of Poland Warsaw, the old town of Poznan, medieval castle in Malbork, which has been UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1997. Southern and south-western parts of Poland are known as ski resorts. Especially nice is the area around Zakopane located in the Tatra mountains.