It is a duty for everyone to take part in the Auschwitz and salt mine tour during their stay in Cracow. These two places are the most famous attractions that are close to Cracow. Auschwitz and salt mine tour brings about two contradictory feelings. On one hand, the salt mine delights with stunning view but on the other, the tour to Auschwitz encourages reflection and reverie. I am writing all this from the perspective of a person who had the opportunity to take part in Auschwitz and salt mine tour. The whole trip was organized in a very convenient way thanks to DiscoverCracow. I did not have to worry about tickets, directions or other details. It was a very comfortable solution. Below you will find a short summary of the trip and things you can expect from the Auschwitz and salt mine tour.
The first part of my trip was visiting Auschwitz which was one of the most striking places I have ever seen in my life. It is the only concentration camp and extermination camp on the World Heritage List placed there as a symbol of the cruelty of people against the people in the 20th century. The camp was founded in May 1940 under the special order of Heinrich Himmler, Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich, commander of the SS and the police. It was located on the outskirts of Auschwitz, a Polish city incorporated into Germany. Developed in the following years, it became the largest place of extermination during World War II. Citizens of many European countries were imprisoned here, with Jews prevailing since 1942. As a result of planned extermination, destructive work and inhuman life conditions, at least 1.2 million people of Jewish descent were killed in this “combination of mass extermination”. Most of them were murdered in gas chambers right after they arrived at the camp, and the corpses were burned in the crematoria.
Wieliczka salt mine tour
The second part of my Auschwitz and salt mine tour was visiting Wieliczka. Salt Mine in Wieliczka is the oldest salt company in Poland, whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. For centuries it was a source of wealth of the country and a material foundation of culture – today it is one of the most visited Polish tourist destinations. Great chapels, charming underground lakes and original equipment give an idea of the struggles of people with their work, passions, and beliefs. The Wieliczka mine in 1976 was entered into the national register of monuments. Two years later – in 1978 it was placed on the First World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO, and in 1994 it was recognized by the President of Poland as National Monument. Nowadays, the underground tourist route of the Wieliczka mine is visited by over one million tourists a year. It also hosts the only 5D cinema in the world.