Bochnia invites tourists underground
Bochnia is famous for its salt mine. The city allows visitors to witness how miners work to excavate salt and learn the history of salt mining. It also includes a raft that will take tourists through the only underground salt lake in the world ? an underground “Way of the Crossway” entirely forged in salt.
These attractions will be open to the public in three months after an extensive promotional campaign.
Most of the salt mine’s construction and lighting has been completed with a few minor details remaining.
The biggest challenge remaining is building the “Way of the Crossways” which is inside every Polish Church. Before he was crucified, Jesus passed through many stations where he was beaten and tortured. In Polish Churches, the priest leads a reenactment of passing this way again while reading the bible and moving from one station to the next. This Crossway has sculptures of Jesus at each of these stations.
The Bochnia underground route has already been mapped out and sculptors have begun working on the figures and reliefs.
“It is a unique venture. Bochnia will be the first in the whole world to have such an attraction,” said Jaroslaw Skrzypek, one of the Crossways sculptors, to the Polish daily Polska.
Another great attraction is the replica of an old 13th Century medieval village. The village consists of several period wooden huts in imitation of those built ages ago.
Highlanders from Podhale have been working on this community for a few months using the same building materials as would have been used in the 13th Century; wooden chops instead of nails, wicker to insulate the walls, and roofs made of thatch. Bochnia, located 35 kilometers from Krakow, was visited by 132,000 people last year. This year the city anticipates a 10 percent increase.