Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the oldest and largest salt mines in Europe and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Krakow. Throughout the 2-hour tour, you will see amazing sites: chambers carved in salt, subway lakes, and amazing rock formations that will leave you speechless.
So now you know, get your entries 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 stop taking pictures.
In this post, I show you some places where you can take some of the best pictures of the excursion and you will also find several tips to get the best images with your camera. Ready?
1. Photos of St. Kinga's Chapel
The Chapel of St. Kinga is the jewel of the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Just to contemplate this chamber is worth the visit.
Its dimensions are impressive and more than a chapel, this place reminds us 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 that took almost 70 years to build since the work was very laborious and a lot of effort was put into every detail of its decoration.
As you go down the stairs leading 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, Saint Kinga's Chapel's main altar holds masses every Sunday and on special occasions such as the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve that the public can attend. It can hold up to 400 people inside!
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 as on the sides you can contemplate other figures of St. Clement and St. Joseph.
The lower section of the pulpit depicts 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 did not have a fine arts education. 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 elaborate salt monument dedicated to the supreme pontiff in the world.
3. Photo of the Janowice Chamber
This is one of the most interesting chambers on 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.
This is a very important figure in the history of the country, so do not hesitate to take a few souvenir photos in the Janowice Chamber while listening to the guide telling the legend of St. Kinga.
4. Photo of 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 will see in the Cunegunda Pit.
On the one hand, the cute little dwarfs are 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 surround the wishing lake.
The Pozo Cunegunda is the best place to observe the phenomenon of salt crystallization. Do not miss any detail because you will be amazed!
5. Photo of the San Juan Chapel
If you go down to the third level of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, at the deepest point of the route at 442 feet, you can visit the Chapel of St. John. A beautiful and colorful sanctuary presided over 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 114 feet high and where hangs a chandelier even bigger than the ones in the Chapel of St. Kinga.
7. Photo of the Weimar Chamber
Entering this chamber you will notice that in this part of the Wieliczka Salt Mines there is a charming and unique atmosphere. In fact, there are couples in love who choose to get engaged here.
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 in the background 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 at the Wieliczka Salt Mines
The first thing you need to know to take photos inside the Wieliczka Salt Mines is that you will have to pay a small supplement at the entrance of about 3 dollars. 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 take some great photos!
Turn on HDR mode: this feature will help you 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 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 makes the subject 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 your phone's ISO 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 with a more flattering angle. It's a very practical trick!