When planning a visit in Kraków, it’s a good idea to explore what’s nearby, within a short distance. The list of places to see includes the Wieliczka Salt Mine and the Auschwitz Museum. See why it’s good to visit them.
Auschwitz – a trip to the dark times of World War II
Nearly 80 years have passed since World War II, so younger generations know this period only from books and films. A lot of such stories seem so cruel and brutal, it’s hard to accept they really happened. To understand this piece of history, you should visit the Auschwitz -Birkenau concentration camp – a silent witness of the atrocities of World War II.
When visiting Auschwitz, you can walk the same route as the prisoners, who were brought here in cattle cars. Once they arrived, they were forced to live in the barracks and after some time they were sent to die in gas chambers. When looking at the museum exhibition, you can see how the Nazi soldiers took away the prisoners’ possessions. They even stripped them of their names – every prisoner was known by a number tattooed on the arm.
Wieliczka – a pearl made of salt
The Salt Mine in Wieliczka is a maze of underground corridors, which will take your breath away. While visiting the mine, you can learn about how salt was extracted by the miners and explore the walkways carved in the salt walls. While walking, you will often find yourself marvelling at the wonders made of salt. A particularly admirable place is the Chapel of St. Kinga, where all the ornaments are made of salt, including the statues, bas-reliefs and chandeliers. But visiting the salt mine is more than just a feast for your eyes. It’s also beneficial for your health, because the specific climate is very good for your respiratory tract.
When looking at the brief summary above, you will doubtless conclude it is worth your while visiting Auschwitz and Wieliczka. Include it on your bucket list when you’re coming to Kraków, if you haven’t already done it. These two places are worlds apart, and each of them offers a different kind of experience, but it’s advisable to find the time to visit both. They are rather close to Kraków, do with a good plan and organisation you can reach both on a single day. Even if you’re in Kraków for a short while, you don’t have to give up on any of these places.