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Salt mines, Highland castles and a Highland fortress to end all fortresses

Salt mines, Highland castles and a Highland fortress to end all fortresses

Wieliczka Castle

Practical information

Visiting
The Salt Mine Castle Museum, Wieliczka,
8 Zamkowa Street (ul. Zamkowa 8)
tel.: 0048 12 2783266
http://www.muzeum.wieliczka.pl
podziemne@muzeum.wieliczka.pl

open
May – Aug.:
Tue. – Sun.: 9.00 AM – 8.00 PM;

Sept. – Apr.:
Tue. – Sat. 9.00 AM – 3.00 PM.

Getting there
The castle is 16 km from Krakow: take Road No. 4, heading south-east. There are numerous paid parking zones near the castle and the salt-mine. Train and suburban bus services (Nos. 204, 244 and 304) also run from Krakow, as do minibus lines.

Tourist information
Tourist Information point: Dembowskiego Street (ul. Dembowskiego), at the Salt Mine car park
tel.: 0048 12 2882460

turystyka@ ckit.wieliczka.pl

Accommodation, food and drink
The Royal Restaurant („Królewska”),
8 Zamkowa Street (ul. Zamkowa 8), in the Middle Ward (Zamek Środkowy),
tel.: 0048 12 2880343

http://www.restauracje-wieliczka.pl
jb@restauracje-wieliczka.pl
Wieliczka Castle is home to an astounding collection of salt cellars, numbering approximately 400 in all! There are glass salt cellars, wooden salt cellars, silver salt cellars and, first and foremost, salt cellars of porcelain, some of them from the famous manufacturers in Ćmielów, Miśnia and Korzec. The Royal Castle, dubbed Salt Mine, or Salt Works, Castle, towers over the centre of the town. From as far back as the 13th century, the governor of the Wieliczka salt mines had his seat in the buildings of the stronghold. The salt mine was known as żupa and its governor, as żupnik (possibly from the Latin, zupparius salis). The House Amidst the Salt Mines, dating from that period, currently houses a number of museum exhibitions; an archaeological exhibition is on show in the castle’s cellars, and there is also an historical exhibition, as well as the exhibition of salt-cellars mentioned earlier. Also on view is the unique Gothic Room, known as the Castle Chamber, with its ribbed vaults supported by a single pillar. The extension of the castle, linking it to town’s fortification system, took place in the mid-fourteenth century, thanks to Kazimierz the Great. The castle tower erected then, and preserved to this day, was one of the nineteen towers which lined the town’s defensive walls. The Northern Ward, which is not open to visitors, also dates from this period; however, the Middle Ward, which was not erected until the nineteenth century, now houses a restaurant.

What else is worth seeing?
The Krakow Salt Mines Museum (Muzeum Żup Krakowskich) has an underground exhibition in the chambers of the historical salt mine, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List; information and reservations: tel.: 0048 12 2787302;

open
Apr. – Oct.:
daily, 7.30 AM – 7.30 PM;

Nov. – Mar.: 08.00 AM – 5.00 PM.

This part of the museum is best approached by the tourist route leading through the underground chambers and the glorious St. Kinga’s Chapel; Tourist Route:
information and reservations:
tel.: 0048 12 2787302

http://www.kopalnia.pl
turystyka@kopalnia.pl
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The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013