St. Kinga's Chapel and the entire Wieliczka Salt mine are recognised as pieces of the UNESCO World Heritage in the year 1978. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is outstanding, notably the St. Kinga's Chapel, which is located 101 metres underground. The St. Kinga’s chamber which has got an area o f 465 sq. metres and a height of 11 metres so far below ground, lit by chandeliers and decorated with a variety of works of art. However, the salt altar that happens to be several hundred years old is the most amazing. The chapel was given its name in honour of Polish saint Kinga, who is also the protector of salt miners. The Chapel is still in use at the present times for church services, weddings, and concerts making place for about 400 people at a single time. The "Wieliczka" Salt Mine now blends several centuries of tradition and modernity, several hundred years of history, and a large infrastructure-filled underground metropolis. Poland's oldest business operation is the ancient "Wieliczka" Salt Mine, which has a history spanning more than 700 years. It has been a part of the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List since 1978. Its remarkable history can be presented using the interactive time axis. The mine, a monument to Poland's history and to the Polish people as a whole, is the result of decades of generations of miners' labour. It has been a part of Polish culture for centuries and you should explore it to learn more about the heritage.
A very lovely legend of Saint Kinga, who lived in the 13th century and became the patron saint of salt miners, tells the story of how the mines in Bochnia and Wieliczka were first established. Kinga was a famous historical character; she was the wife of Bolesaw V the Chaste, the Polish Duke who governed Cracow, and the daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary. According to legend, Duke Bolesaw of Poland gave Kinga a stunning engagement ring when she was a little girl in Hungary. She was to receive from her father a dowry of gold, silver, and jewellery valued at a fortune, but she informed him that since Prince Bolesaw was wealthy and his nation was flourishing, her future people would not require it.The father spent a lot of time considering the dowry for his daughter, but he had no ideas. As there were no mines in Poland and she knew that Bolesaw and his subjects would love it, Kinga asked her father for a large amount of rock salt when he asked her what kind of dowry she desired. The largest mine in Hungary is in Maramureş, where her father took her and told her, "You have what you asked for, here you will find the greatest quantities of salt deposits." Kinga was concerned, though, as she was unsure of how to transport the entire mine to Poland. She prayed to God for guidance as she glanced up at the sky, and eventually she understood what to do.
Book Wieliczka Salt Mine tours to go inside the and have a look at the St. Kinga's Chapel which is one of the largest underground chapel. It is a dedication to St. Kinga, the patron saint of salt miners, and is made entirely of rock salt. The magnificent St. Kinga’s chamber, which is 54 metres long, 12 metres high, and 18 metres broad, is illuminated by ornate chandeliers formed of salt crystals.
St. Kinga's Chapel is a place of regular worship; Holy Mass is celebrated on every Sunday and on Christmas Eve at midnight. Anyone who wishes to go underground and immerse themselves in spiritual thought may do so. The chapel was in the area of the mine that was still in use in the 1890s, but for more than a century now, it has been this wonderful church rather than the salts that have drawn visitors underground. This should come as no surprise given that its inside is a genuine art exhibition, with pieces created by skilled sculptor-miners. The brothers Józef and Tomasz Markowski, along with Antoni Wyrodek, were the primary artists for this location.
The chapel of St. Kinga’s most significant feature, the high altar, was carved by Tomasz Markowski. The altarpiece, which is divided into three portions, has a statue of St. Kinga in the middle and side panels with images of St. Joseph and St. Clement on either side. In this niche beneath the altar top, the saint's relics were placed in 1994. The lower half of the pulpit, which was also created by Tomasz Markowski, depicts Krakow's Wawel Hill and the castle that was built there with protective walls. Markowski also created the side altars, the Herod's Decree and The Massacre of the Innocents reliefs, as well as a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The chapel of St. Kinga’s other highlights are the exquisite Nativity scene carved by Mieczyslaw Kluzek on the right side and the papal cross constructed of four different types of salt to represent Poland's historic salt mines in the chancel. In addition, the chapel received a John Paul II statue in 1999. The sculpture was created by Stanislaw Anio and his helpers, and it is the only salt-based memorial to the sainted pope in existence.
Location: Wieliczka, Kraków County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Timings: 7.30 AM to 7.30 PM
Best time to visit: Early October to early December is the best time to visit St. Kinga's Chapel because the weather will be ideal and there won't be as many people around. You can also schedule a trip to the attraction for either early July or the period from Easter to mid-January.
How To Reach: - By Train: As the Kinga’s Chapel is situated in Salt Mines, you must proceed to the Krakow Main Station and board a train run by any railroad operating in Lesser Poland and the Krakow metropolitan region, in order to travel by train to Salt Mine Krakow.- By Bus: The most practical route to take to go to Salt Mine Krakow by bus is line 304, which has stops close to Krakow's Old Town and Main Station. Every 20 minutes, Line 304 departs for Wieliczka, and the bus ride to Salt Mines from Krakow takes around 33 minutes.- By Taxi: You can always hire a private taxi from Krakow to reach Kinga’s Chapel which is located in Salt Mines.
What is special about St. Kinga’s Chapel?
The St. Kinga’s Chapel is famous for its intricate decorations in the ceiling with salt crystal chandeliers which took about 7 decades to complete. The floor of the structure has also got a uniform salt mass which intrigues architecture lovers visiting Poland.
What is the below-ground level of St. Kinga’s Chapel?
The below ground level of St. Kinga’s Chapel is about 101 metres, which is considered to be one of the exceptional architectures in the whole world. The room is spread over 465 sq. metre area and is about 11m high and is enlightened by the huge chandeliers and with loads of intricate artworks.
What is the height of the St. Kinga’s Chamber?
The St. Kinga’s chamber is about 12 metres high, 54 metres long, and 18 metres wide. It is intricately decorated with unique artworks and some of the beautiful chandeliers in the world.
What is the best time to visit St. Kinga’s Chapel?
The best time to visit the chapel of St. Kinga’s is from early October to early December as the climatic conditions would be favourable as well as there would be very less crowd. You can also plan to visit the attraction from the mid January to Easter and from Easter to early July.
How old is the St. Kinga’s Chapel?
The construction of the chapel of St. Kinga’s started in the year 1896 and it took about 67 years to complete the floor, ceiling, swalls, sculptures, and the chandeliers.
What are the available tour options?
The available tour options are:1. Wieliczka Salt Mine - Skip The Line Tickets2. Skip The Line Guided Tour Of Wieliczka Salt Mine3. Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour From Krakow4. Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour With Hotel Transfers From Krakow5. Guided Tour Of Wieliczka Salt Mine With Round-Trip Transfers And Lunch6. Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour From Krakow and more