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Wieliczka Castle

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Brief History of the Wieliczka Castle

The Establishment and development of the Castle in Wieliczka is closely associated with the development of the salt mines in Wieliczka, and the companies involved in the management of these. For many years, the castle served as the Salt mining head office for the Wieliczka and the Bochnia salt mines. In the thirteenth century, Prince Henry IV Probus built the original castle, which in the times of Casimir the Great was significantly expanded and strengthened. Then at the end of the fourteenth century, King Kazimierz the Great completely modernized  and rebuilt the castle. It is easy to understand why the kings invested  so much in the defense of the Salt mines, when we know that in those times, the income derived from the extraction of salt accounted for ¼ of the state budget. At the end of the sixteenth century began the slow, but steady downfall of the castle, both economically and politically. Additionally, this building suffered major damage during a fire in the early seventeenth century. Subsequent years saw the invasion of the Swedes to further the slow destruction of the castle. In the eighteenth century, after the partial reconstruction and rebuilding of the castle, a beautiful garden was created, which is still the pride of the castle. The "Salt works Castle" in Wieliczka has been subject to numerous invasions, sieges, and even in 1945, at the end of World War II, it experienced some of the most severe damage, by Soviet bombing. After World War II, this building fell into total disrepair, and its restoration did not start before 1976. The renovation work that was then started, lasted for almost 16 years. Today, the castle is rebuilt in the sixteenth-century style and character. It is today included in the Krakow Salt works Museum. When exploring the castle you can see a permanent exhibition, including an archaeological collection of salt shakers and a current temporary exhibition on display. The castle in Wieliczka holds regular events, such as the "Summer Music Festival," "Afternoon with Strauss," and "Feast of Salt."

Sightseeing the Wieliczka Castle:

Opening Hours:

September - April: 9.00 - 15.00

  • free admission on Saturdays.
  • Sunday and Monday closed.

May - August: 9.00 - 20.00

  • free admission on Saturdays.
  • Closed on Monday.

Other days, in which the museum is closed: 1st, 6th January, Easter Sunday, Corpus Christi, 1st and 11th November, 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st of December.

Duration of the tour is approximately 60 minutes.

 

Ticket prices for 2011:

  • Normal Ticket – 4zł
  • Reduced Ticket – 3zł
  • Family Ticket – 10zł (2+2 or 1+3 – Children to the age of 16)
  • guide service - 35zl (both in Polish and foreign languages)

 

Location and Other Attractions in the Area

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The Wieliczka Castle is located by the Wieliczka Salt mines and is indeed a part of the Wieliczka Salt mine Museum. You can travel here from Krakow by using public transport or joining one of the many tour groups that are organized from Krakow to see the Salt mines.

Distances to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from:

Krakow:10km
Zakopane:106km
Oświęcim:67km

Other Attractions in the area:

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Krakow Historical center is located just over 10km away from the salt mines and hold a wealth of attractions for most travelers. One of the newest attractions is the underground museum. 

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Less famous, but also well worth noting is the Salt mines in Bochnia that are located some 30km to the east of the Wieliczka Salt mines.

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The Ojcowski National Park is located about 30km away from Wieliczka to the north of Krakow. The Ojcowski National Park is the smallest national park in Poland, covering a total area of only 2145ha. 

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Kazimierz is today a well-known and very popular district of Krakow, once it was an independent city. For many this was the Jewish capital of Europe before the second world war.

 

 

Address:

Muzeum Żup Krakowskich Wieliczka

ul. Zamkowa 8

32-020 Wieliczka

tel. (+12) 278 32 66, (+12) 422 19 47

www.muzeum.wieliczka.pl

 

 

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