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The modern chapel of St. John Paul II in the Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka

The Kraków Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka has made the modern chapel of St. John Paul II - probably the deepest temple devoted to the Pope in the world - available to visitors. It is located in the restored Aleksandrowice II chamber and was consecrated by His Eminence Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz.
Prof. Antoni Jodłowski, Director of the Museum, emphasises that the chapel is provided with modern, 21st-century decoration with the use of multimedia. Reflecting the spirit of our times, it fits into the centuries-old tradition of arrangement of chapels in a mine.

The essential decoration of the chapel consists of three sculptures - chunks of salt that look as if they were hovering about the ground. The first of them forms an altar stone, the second one is a part of a composition, and the third one, positioned vertically in the shape of a salt block, consists of four moving parts that form an illuminated cross when pulled apart.

The appearance of an illuminated cross is the culmination point of a multimedia show entitled "In the Beginning was the Word", based on the Gospel of John. The design of the chapel devoted to the Pope contains his words as the guiding motif. Animations in the form of a large-format projection use fragments of the Pope's homilies. The music accompanying the picture, the illumination and laser effects make up a whole that affects the viewer's senses and emotions.

The multimedia space of the chapel was designed so as to deepen the guiding idea referring to the words of St. John Paul II. The multimedia installation consists of: holographic projections, interactive spaces related to the Pope's pilgrimages, projections of fragments of homilies from around the world, accompanied by the Pope's voice from 'sound showers'. Thanks to them, you can hear fragments of the Pope's homilies in 6 language versions, which testify to the global range of impact of his message. The patron of the chapel is St. John Paul II, to whom the world of the working class was always close. Here, in the Wieliczka salt mine, many generations of miners performed hard and dangerous work for seven centuries. It is worth adding that Karol Wojtyła visited the Wieliczka salt mine three times before he became Pope: in 1930, in 1936 and in 1971.

Visitors can see, among others, a card from the diary of the conclave that elected Cardinal Karol Wojtyła as Pope John Paul with his first signature after the election, which is exhibited in a glass case. This document was made available to the Museum by the Archdiocesan Curia in Kraków.

The chapel will function as an open sacred building. It will become a part of the 'Szczęść Boże' (God Bless You) pilgrimage route and will be a place of celebration of local and supra-regional events connected, among others, with the person of Pope John Paul II.

The interior decoration and multimedia were arranged by the drawing artist Aleksander Janicki, and the multimedia technology was prepared by mgr inż. Maciej Dziadowiec.

For more information, visit:
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013