The Krakow Salt Works Museum at Wieliczka

ul. Zamkowa 8, 32-020 Wieliczka
Opening hours:

Castle 8:30 a.m. – 15:30 p.m.

Mine 8:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.


The Krakow Salt Works Museum at Wieliczka is one of the greatest mining museums in Europe.

It houses two permanent exhibitions: the underground one, on the third level of the historic salt mine in Wieliczka – located in 17 original chambers (19th and 20th c.), in the site entered in 1978 into the first UNESCO List (within the area of 8 000 sq m over 2 500 original and unique exhibits are displayed), and the one in the Mediaeval Salt Works Castle, which was the seat of the salt industry management from the end of the 13th century to 1945, the only such site in Poland.

The Krakow Salt Works Museum shows the work of salt brewers – people who in olden times made salt from salty water – and the miners who extracted it from the mine.

The mining items gathered in the underground exhibition – machines, including a unique collection of horsepowered treadmills, lamps, ventilators, drills and cutters, and also underground rail-engines and carts – allow us to witness the evolution of mining methods. The vignettes that adorn the oldest plans of the mine (1st half of the 17th century) by W. Hondius, the sectional view of the mine (mid-18th century) by J. Nilson and the paintings by A. Długosz show the miners at work, as well as their machines, tools and clothing.

During the Night of the Museums and the Salt Holiday, both in the underground exhibition and in the Salt Works Castle, the miners show what their work was like in times past: some roll blocks of salt, others push a cart, and still others carry the salt. Moreover, during the “Salt Holiday”, a cooper, a smith, a rope maker and a potter each teach their respective crafts, the salt brewers produce salt and a merchant sells it. Guests can abseil down the castle tower, in a way similar to that of the miners of old descending into the mine.

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