Krakow Saltworks Museum

About Cracow Saltworks Museum

The Cracow Saltworks Museum Wieliczka is a state-run cultural organisation founded in the year 1951 to preserve and popularise Poland's rich history of salt mining, which is regarded as a priceless human legacy. Alfons Dugosz, an artist and teacher at Wieliczka Middle School, came up with the concept to save the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a tribute to the beauty and labor of Polish workers.A Krakow saltworks museum display was organized underground in the historical mines on the third level of the mine thanks to the collections, which were gathered over several years, Mining machinery and tools that were uncovered as a part of collaborative exploratory work in the ancient mines were donated to the Krakow saltworks museum Wieliczka by the mine's administration.As a result, the Krakow saltworks museum was able to compile an exceptional collection of old timber extraction tools and early steam and electric gear from all over the world. Along with papers from the Saltworks and library, a priceless collection of mining maps was also donated to the museum.The Cracow saltworks museum Wieliczka fulfills its mission by collecting, preserving, and making available cultural artifacts associated with the history of prehistoric salt processing, the salt mining industry, the cities of Wieliczka and Bochnia, as well as associated with mining technology, the geology of salt deposits, and art.

Why Visit Cracow Saltworks Museum

  • The Krakow saltworks museum, is one of Europe's biggest mining museums and features two ongoing displays year-round.
  • The mine, which is 135 meters down, was added to UNESCO's initial list of the world's cultural and natural heritage in 1978.
  • The Mine was declared a historical monument by the president of Poland.
  • The medieval Saltworks Castle, which was rebuilt between 1976 and 1996 served as the management headquarters for the mine from the late thirteenth century until 1945 and houses the ground-level display.
  • The Krakow saltworks museum opened in 1951 and has since been proudly showcasing the centuries-long mining legacy in Wieliczka and Bochnia mainly to the efforts of painter Professor Alfons Dlugosz.
  • Krakow saltworks museum is now the largest historical salt mining complex in Europe With 19,050 artifacts.
  • Krakow saltworks museum holds an array of horse-powered treadmills from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as an example of Miocene animals and plants.

History Of Cracow Saltworks Museum

  • The Krakow saltworks museum founded in 1951 is a national cultural organization whose goal is to preserve the rich history of salt mining and promote its significant contribution to civilization's historical consciousness.
  • Alfons Dugosz was an artist, who taught at the Wieliczka gymnasium, and came up with the concept of protecting the Wieliczka salt mine, a tribute to nature and the labour of Polish workers.
  • Branch of the Wawel State Art Collections from 1956 to 1961 was the Museum.
  • 14 post-mining rooms on the third level of the mine were used to house the exhibition between 1958 and 1966.
  • The Ministry of Culture and Art provided funding for the renovation and adaptation work.
  • The museum was acknowledged in 1961 as a major organisation under the Ministry of Culture and Art.
  • The first statute outlining the parameters within which the Museum will operate was enacted in 1963.

Top Collections In Cracow Saltworks Museum

The Cracow Saltworks Museum displays several collections that include mining tools and equipment from the mine. Amazing collection of saltshakers. Old photographs of the supervisors and proprietors of the Saltworks, rare, centuries-old mine maps, and imposing rooms like Maria Teresa II and Saura.

Salt Shakers

The Great Kracow Saltworks Museum has been collecting saltshakers, lately focusing mostly on expensive and one-of-a-kind items. There are saltshakers made of porcelain, gold, silver, tin, glass, wood, fused quartz, bone, crystal, and mother-of-pearl among other materials. The museum now includes 1000 artifacts that date back to the 14th century. There are single saltshakers, sets for spices, and saltshakers made from dinnerware in a highly diversified variety. The most expensive salt shakers were purchased during the Maastricht TEFAF international art exhibition.

Mining Techniques

The Mining Techniques collection includes 1508 items and some great work of vintage hoisting machines, or "treadmills," the only one of its sorts in all of Europe. Pulled by horses, including "Saxon" and "Hungarian" treadmills with vertical rope drums from the first and second halves of the nineteenth century. Machinery for mechanically exploiting salt deposits, illumination, ventilation, and equipment for mine drainage and brine transport are all included in the Mining Technology collection.


The Great Cracow Saltworks Museum started to gather geological samples for the current collection Before the Museum's launch. The collection of artifacts substantially surpasses 1000 pieces, according to the current inventory. The collection mostly comprises rocks from the Miocene Podkarpacie and cechsztyn central Polish salt deposits. Unique specimens from Machów serve as a representation of the defunct sulfur basin, while examples from the nearby gypsum basin originate from the Nida valley. The specimens from overseas research facilities in Romania, Belarus, Ethiopia, etc. should also be mentioned.

Art & Ethnography

The Art & Ethnography collection includes paintings, sculptures, graphics, numismatics, and artistic and folk crafts. The collection also showcases items connected to mining history and culture that were gathered through the mining inventory. Old religious artifacts, such as crucifixes, Christ, and of the Virgin Mary statue, the patron saints of miners, stand out among them. In the center is the Wieliczka miner's horn, which serves as a symbol of the richness of the old Polish saltworks.


This collection includes the maps and plans which are concerned the Wieliczka salt mine from the 17 to the 20th century. One little portion is related to the mine in Bochnia. Unique versions depict silver works in Příbram, sulfur works in Swoszowice, and salt mines in Lack and Maramureş. The blueprints for the city and floors of the Wieliczka mine engraved by Wilhelm Hondius concerning maps by Marcin German dated 1631 are among the most valuable possessions.

Old Photos

Awit Szubert, who took the earliest images of the Wieliczka mine in 1892, Stanislaw Mucha, Jan Czernecki, Henryk Poddbski, Wadysaw Gargul and Alfons Dugosz are among the photographers with works in the museum's collection. The images depict not just the Wieliczka Salt Mine and Bochnia but also the city's previous structures, residents, and political and cultural activities. You can find some great photos by Michal Grochal, Alfons Dlugosz, Awit Szubert and many others in this collection.

Know Before You Go To Cracow Saltworks Museum

Essential Information:

Location: Daniłowicza 10, 32-020 Wieliczka, Poland

Timings: Krakow saltworks museum opening time is between 8.30 Am – 5.30 Pm every day.The last entry is by 5 pm. January 1st, Easter Sunday, (Holy Saturday to 3:30 pm)1 November, 24, 25 December (31 December only from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm)

Best Time to Visit:

Check out the schedule and details below before you go: Between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. from 1 April to 31 October, the salt mine is accessible. You may tour the salt mine between 08:00 and 17:00 from 2 November to 31 March.

How To Reach:

To reach the Cracow saltworks museum Wieliczka, if you wish to take a city bus, you may download the free software jakdojade on your phone and check the online schedules for line 304. Every 20 minutes, Line 304 departs for Wieliczka. The bus ride from Krakow to Salt Mines takes 33 minutes, and Line 304 departs for Wieliczka every 20 minutes.

Krakow Saltworks Museum FAQs

How old is the Cracow Saltworks Museum?

The Saltworks Castle was built towards the end of the 13th century to serve as the administrative hub for the Cracow Saltworks, one of the biggest businesses in all of Europe and is about 700 years old. The Castle was included on the Unesco World Heritage List as a consequence of its distinctive importance.

What is the best time to visit Cracow Saltworks Museum?

In peak season, the busiest route, the Tourist Route, is open (nearly) continuously from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM. In the low season, it is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. The entire tour of the Krakow saltworks museum will take about 2-3 hours. Avoid visiting between June to September as this is the peak tourist visiting season.

What is special about the Cracow Saltworks Museum?

It is Europe's largest subterranean museum. The Museum covers every facet of the mining and salt production processes carried out at the Cracow saltworks.

How long should one spend inside Cracow Saltworks Museum?

If you are someone who loves to dive into history as you explore the artworks, you must at least spend a minimum of 3 hours going through all the interesting collections at the Krakow saltworks museum.

Who is the director of Cracow Saltworks Museum?

The director of the Museum, Jan Godowski, was the one who started the first cooperative initiative of these three locations, creating Cracow Saltworks for centuries.

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