Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest and largest salt mines in Europe and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Krakow. During the 2-hour tour you will see amazing sights: salt chambers, subway lakes and amazing rock formations that will leave you breathless.
So now you know, get your tickets to the Wieliczka Salt Mines and charge your camera with plenty of battery because during this tour through the depths of the Earth you will not be able to stop taking pictures.
In this post I show you some places where you can take some of the best pictures of your excursion to the salt mines and you will also find several tips to get the best images with your camera. Ready?
1. Photos of the Chapel of St. Kinga
The Chapel of St. Kinga is the jewel of the Wieliczka Salt Mines. This chamber alone is worth the visit.
Its dimensions are impressive and more than a chapel, this place is very reminiscent of a cathedral. From its baluster you will have a stunning view of the whole temple, so do not hesitate to take a few pictures up there.
It is a very special place whose construction took almost 70 years, since the work was very laborious and in every detail of its decoration a lot of effort was put.
As you go down the stairs to the main nave you will see better the huge chandeliers and the biblical reliefs that decorate the walls and serve as altarpieces. Special mention should be made of "The Last Supper" inspired by the famous work of Leonardo da Vinci. Take some pictures of them too!
2. Photo of the main altar of Santa Kinga
As a subway temple, the main altar of the Chapel of St. Kinga holds masses every Sunday and on special occasions such as the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which the public can attend, and which can hold up to 400 people!
This place is dedicated to St. Kinga (patron saint of salt miners) and since 1994 you will find her relics in the altar niche. In the center of it you will see a statue in honor but it is not the only one since on the sides you can contemplate other figures to St. Clement and St. Joseph.
The lower section of the pulpit depicts the Wawel Hill and the castle in Krakow while the side altars are carved reliefs on the biblical episodes of the "Decree of Herod" and "The Massacre of the Innocents". There is also a statue dedicated to the Virgin of Lourdes.
The main artists involved in the decoration of the Chapel of St. Kinga were the Markowski brothers and Antoni Wyrodek, who surprisingly lacked studies in Fine Arts. But not the only ones, the statue in honor of Pope John Paul II was the work of the artist Stanisław Aniof, being the only monument made of salt dedicated to the supreme pontiff in the world.
3. Photo of the Janowice Chamber
This is one of the most interesting chambers of the tourist route. Here a passage from the legend of the Hungarian princess Kinga (who later became a saint and queen of Poland) is represented by several salt sculptures, which refers to the finding of her engagement ring in the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
She is a very important figure in the history of the country, so don't hesitate to take a few souvenir photos in the Janowice Chamber while listening to the guide tell the legend of Saint Kinga.
4. Photo of the Cunegunda Well
This is one of the coolest places you will see during the guided tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, so get your camera ready because you will want to immortalize everything you see in the Cunegunda Pit.
On the one hand, the cute little dwarfs illuminated with colorful lights that represent the different tasks of the miner inside the mines (the crusher, the loader, the carter and the carpenter). On the other, the curious rock formations such as stalagmites and stalactites that surround the wishing lake.
The Pozo Cunegunda is the place where the phenomenon of salt crystallization is best observed. Do not miss any detail because you will be amazed!
5. Photo of St. John's Chapel
If you go down to the third level of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, at the deepest point of the route at 135 meters, you can visit the Chapel of St. John. A beautiful and colorful sanctuary presided by a crucified Christ where you can appreciate an atmosphere that invites you to meditation.
St. John's Chapel is one of the 40 places of worship that Polish miners built inside the Wieliczka Salt Mines to pray during the day. The constant threat of landslides at work made the miners entrust their lives to God and were very devout.
If you want to know more about these spaces and others that make up the mine, I recommend you take a look at the post What to see in the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
6. Photo of the Michalowice Chamber
The Michalowice Chamber is not as artistic as the previous ones, as it has no ornaments or sculptures, but you will also want to take a few pictures when you get here because this place makes an impact because of its wooden scaffolding, which rises to 35 meters high and where a chandelier hangs even bigger than the ones in the Chapel of St. Kinga.
7. Photo from Weimar Chamber
When you enter this chamber you will notice that in this part of the Wieliczka Salt Mines there is an enchanting and unique atmosphere. In fact, there are couples in love who choose it as a place to get engaged.
And it is here that you will find a beautiful illuminated salt lake that adorns the chamber, which you will surely want to take a few pictures of while listening to some melodies of the composer Frédéric Chopin, who frequented the mines to treat his asthma problem.
In the Weimar Chamber you will see a sculpture dedicated to the writer Goethe, who had a great fondness for speleology and visited the mines on occasion.
Tips for taking photos in the Wieliczka Salt Mines
The first thing you should know to take pictures inside the Wieliczka Salt Mines is that you will have to pay a small supplement at the entrance of about 2,50 euros. Otherwise you may be noticed during the itinerary.
That said, the tourist route of the Wieliczka Salt Mines is fully illuminated for tourists to walk more comfortably through the various galleries and subway passages. However, in certain areas the lighting conditions are not the best for taking pictures, so it may happen that when you try to take pictures you get images with poor definition.
The Wieliczka Salt Mines is such an amazing place that you won't want to leave without taking a lot of pictures, so take note of these tips that will surely help you to take some great pictures!
- Activate HDR mode: this function will help you to take pictures in low light areas and can differentiate the brightest areas from the darkest parts of the scene.
- Use the self-timer: it will help you to avoid blurred images and will also give you enough time to find the best angle. I recommend the 5 or 10 seconds option.
- Evaluate if the flash is the best option: Turning on the flash in low light conditions sometimes results in the subject being photographed coming out too bright and the background too dark. For a more natural result, try to get close to whatever light is available to you when taking the picture.
- Increase the ISO to 400: In cameras, the higher the ISO, the brighter the image. To avoid having to use the flash, set the ISO on your phone to 400 to try to get the best picture with the level of light available.
- Use another cell phone to illuminate: Use the flashlights of your companions' cell phones to illuminate the object or person you want to be in the photo at a more flattering angle. It's a very practical trick!