Wieliczka salt mine, Wieliczka, Poland, 2015
At one time people were allowed to take boat tours on the salt lakes. Today, there are weddings in the salt cathedral, parties in a salt hall, and a health and wellness center underground, but the boat tours are not allowed- if there were ever actually any boat tours in the first place, but every tour comes with a tragic legend.
In some unnamed time, but well into the 20th century, there is a story about a group of young men, in a bachelor party, that rented a boat to tour on the salt water. They were very drunk and standing in the boat. As the boat passed into the tunnel one of the men hit his head and was knocked out of the boat and into the water. He was trapped between the boat and the side of the tunnel, and of course he drowned. To make the story more tragic he was the groom. I was told later by a Polish friend that the story is false. It does get a good reaction.
The Wieliczka salt-mine was opened in the 13th century and had produced table salt until 2007. When it was up and running in 2007 it was the oldest producing salt-mine in the world.
The pictures are from the cathedral that the miners had built. Everything from the flooring to the chandeliers are made of salt. It was a well paid, but dangerous job, and the miners would spend their days beneath the surface of the earth, sometimes not returning to the air for days (the horses would remain under the earth for seven years at a time). To the miners each day was a blessing to be alive and they built this cathedral along with images from the bible for a place to pray beneath the depths. The mine reaches the depth of 327 meters (1,073 feet). On the tourist route we only go to 135 meters.