Treasurer’s Delicacy (Chicken titbits with fries and ketchup)
Wieliczka Elves’ Delicacy (Dumplings)
Saltland tidbit (Chocolate croissant)
The Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, invited to the Wieliczka mine the heads of government of the Vyshehrad Group countries. The mine hosted prime misters from Hungary, Gordon Bajnai, the Czech Republic, Jan Fischer, Slovakia, Robert Fico, and Poland. They visited the Chapel of St. Kinga and dined in the Warszawa Chamber where they discussed the current affairs of the Vyshehrad Group countries.
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1. The Chapel of Saint Kinga in the Wieliczka Salt Mine 2. It is made out of salt. 3. Krakow, Poland
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The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine had been in continuous operation, producing table salt since the 13th century until 2007 as one of the world's oldest operating salt mines (the oldest being in Bochnia, Poland, some 20 kilometers away from Wieliczka). The mine is a major tourist attraction, with about 1.2 million visitors per year. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding.
The Saint Kinga’s Chapel, on Lower Level II, 101 meters below the surface, is the most impressive and opulent of underground temples. The chamber, carved in a block of salt, has been a place of worship
since 1896. The chapel ornamentation has been created over a period of more than a hundred years. From late 19th century until 1963, the sculpting was conducted by self-taught miners-sculptors, Józef and Tomasz Markowski and Antoni Wyrodek. Their work is continued by the new generation of miners, who create new sculpting projects.
Sculptures which decorate the chapel walls are New Testament scenes. Closest to the stairs, on the right, the Jesus Before Herod and Massacre of the Innocents reliefs are to be seen, and above them, a Nativity scene. Slightly further, the Chapel of Madonna and Child, with the depiction of God the Father atop, is to be seen, as well as the Flight Into Egypt relief, and above it, Christ Falling Under the Cross.
Next to the main altar, a side altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the Twelve-year-old Jesus Preaching At the Temple relief, and a pulpit whose base resembles the walls of the
next to it, the altar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The chapel chancel is ornamented both by early 20th-century and recent sculptures. One of the oldest elements of the décor is the main altar, carved by Józef Markowski and consisting of three parts. In the middle, Saint Kinga’s figure surrounded by salt crystals is placed; in the side panels, between double columns, the statues of Saint Joseph and Saint Clement are to be seen.
To the left of the altar, a relief depicting the scene of the Last Supper, carved by Antoni Wyrodek and modelled after the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci, is to be seen. Next to the relief, the Resurrection Chapel is to be found. Another relief found here, the Doubting Thomas, dates from the 1960s.
On exiting the chapel, visitors can admire the newest of the sculptures which adorn the underground temple. The statue found here is the world’s only monument of the Polish
Comments from Our Readers
pope, John Paul II carved in salt. It was made in 1999 by the miner-sculptor Stanisław Anioł assisted by Paweł Janowski and Piotr Starowicze as a gift of thanks for the canonising the Blessed Kinga.
The chapel is illuminated by large salt chandeliers. The entire decoration of the underground temple, including the floor, has been carved in salt.
Kinga was given in marriage to Polish Prince Boleslaus V of Sandomierz of the Piast Dynasty, later called the "Chaste". This political marriage was arranged when Kinga was five and Boleslaus 12. In 1247 when Boleslaus was invited by the nobles of Krakow to take over the Principality of Krakow, Kinga became princess. Despite the marriage, the devout couple took up a vow of chastity. The marriage was largely arranged by and the vow of chastity patterned after that of Boleslaw's sister Salome of Cracow.In a county destroyed by the Tartars but still Christian, Kinga became a benefactor, governing with her husband, jointly signing and sealing all documents.
During her reign Kinga got involved in charitable works such as visiting the poor and helping the lepers. When her husband died in 1279, she renounced the throne and sold all of her material possessions and gave the money to the poor. In 1280 she founded a Poor Clare monastery on land given to her by Boleslaus at Stary Sacz. She lived as a guest in the monastery for eight years, not entering it until 1288 and later becoming Prioress. She spent the rest of her life in contemplative prayer and did not allow anyone
This was a great quiz for me because as soon as I looked at the photo, I knew I had seen this place before. When I first started doing my own family genealogy (like you are ever done!), I learned that my paternal 2nd Great-Grandmother's name was Kunigunda Koelblein, a German immigrant from Bavaria.
Naturally, I thought that this was a somewhat unusual name. I thought how many Kunigundas could there have been???? During my research of the name, I ran into this photo while researching St. Kunigunda (Kinga), and learned about the Chapel. I also learned that it was not an all that unusual name for Germanic people, Austrian, Hungarian, & Western Poles. What a coincidence, that it's the topic of one of your quizzes !!! Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.
***** Now that is awesome!! :) Beth Long
***** This is such a cool place, maybe on our trip to Slovakia [to see the Sedlec Ossuary, see Quiz #230] I can squeeze this one in too! Debby Sterbinsky
***** EVERYTHING (including the chandeliers) are made from salt. Also the place for the world's first "underground bungee jump" and "underground hot air balloon flight". (?) Carl Blessing ***** This was/is a fascinating place to read about. Living in one of the few places in the world where salt is obtained by evaporation I forget that most salt around the world is mined out of the ground. Milene Rawlinson
***** This was a TOTALLY COOL puzzle! Elaine C. Hebert
***** Took me a little while on this one. I knew there was something to the glow through the Virgin Mary. Blair Chambers
***** Quizmasters that solve this quiz are "Worth their salt". Stan Read
***** I have recognised the place because I visited it some years ago. Christine
***** Salt: Old Testament: Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt. New Testament: "and what if salt loses its flavor." Mike Dalton **** Gabe came through on this one for me...I was in Egypt-underground...I kept saying picture has to be here-he just smiled and shook his head "NO"..mom helped with the SALT clue...who's teaching who here, right! Mr. Rick and Gabriel
***** One of the largest salt mines in the world, Sifto Co., is in Goderich Ontario, about an 80 minute drive from my home. Unlike the mine in the photo, it is very much an operating mine, employing about 500 people. Right now it is considered dangerous to allow any visitors. It’s kind of fun to imagine what the mine could become when it is no longer producing salt. Don Draper
***** Being of Polish descent, this was a fun search, it took awhile, but it was fun. I had not heard of the salt mines. Dawn Colket
***** Hi Colleen! I did like this quiz - I think it was the hardest one for me to do so far! I kept thinking it was an underground tunnel like the ones they have below Moscow in the metro stations and I got hung up on that. The illuminated Virgin Mary statue was what finally saved me; I Googled images of that and it led to me the Salt Mine. Very interesting place and the legend is quite fascinating too! Thank you for the challenge this week. :) Nicole Blank
Saint Kinga of Poland (also known as Cunegunda, Kunigunda, Kunegunda, Cunegundes, Kioga, Zinga; Polish: Święta Kinga, Hungarian: Szent Kinga) (March 5, 1224 – July 24, 1292) is a saint in the Roman Catholic Church and patroness of Poland and Lithuania.
St. Kinga was born in Esztergom in 1234, the third daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary and Maria Laskarina, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Theodore I Lascaris. She was a Hungarian Princess of the Arpad Dynasty, a niece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and great- niece of Saint Hedwig. Kinga's sisters were Saint Margaret of Hungary and Jolenta of Poland (Yolanda, Helen).
to refer to her past role as Grand Duchess of Poland. She died on 24 July 1292 at the age of 58, whereupon she was widely venerated as a saint. In 1690 Pope Alexander VIII confirmed her cult, the equivalent of beatification. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 16, 1999.
When Boleslaw and Kinga were to be married, Kinga's father Bela IV asked her what she would like to get from him as a wedding present, what she would like to take to her husband and the new country. Kinga replied that she wanted no gold and jewels, since they only brought unhappiness and tears. She wanted something that could
Side Altar dedicated to the Sacred Heart
serve the people she was going to live with. Her request surprised the king greatly – she asked for salt.
The king was determined to keep his promise. He offered Kinga the biggest and most prosperous salt deposits in Hungary – the Marmaros salt mine. However, nobody knew what Kinga could do with the treasure.
On her way to Poland the princess visited the mine. She kneeled to pray next to the entrance and – to everyone’s surprise – suddenly threw her engagement ring inside. She gathered a group of the best Hungarian salt miners and told them to follow her.
When the party arrived in Poland and was approaching Kraków, Kinga stopped and asked the miners to look for salt. They started digging and suddenly hit something very hard. It was a lump of salt. When they broke it, everyone saw what was hidden inside – Kinga’s engagement ring!
To commemorate the princess, 101 metres under the ground, down in the mine there is the world’s biggest underground chapel, dedicated to Saint Kinga.
In this picture you can see the salt sculptures int he Janowice chamber showing the moment the miners gave Kinga the ring found in the salt lump.
The Wieliczka Sanitorium
The Wieliczka Salt Mine contains the only underground respiratory rehabilitation center, which is maintained by a professional medical team.The rehabilitation effects are due to its unique microclimate, which is characterized by exceptional bacteriological cleanliness, richness of micronutrients (including medicinal sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium ions) and the lack of allergens and contaminants present on the surface of the earth. The Center offers 6.5-hour curative stays in various rehabilitation programs, 135 m below ground in the Lake Wessel chamber, under the supervision of a professional medical staff. You can breathe easier and deeper! http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en...
Information and Booking
Wieliczka Salt Mine Tourist Route Department of the Gastronomic Services 10 Daniłowicza Street, Wieliczka phone: +48 12 278 73 24 fax: +48 12 278 73 25 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
That is how the Hungarian princess brought salt to Poland.
Nicole Blank Debbie Sterbinsky Karen Petrus Daniel E. Jolley Gary Sterne Carl Blessing Marilyn Hamill Milene Rawlinson Elaine C. Hebert Blair Chambers Carole Cropley Dave Doucette Mike Swierczewski Fred Stuart John Chulick Rick Norman Suzanne Rude Margaret Paxton Brian Kemp Ben Truwe Diane Burkett Stan Read Robert W. Steinmann, Jr. Peter Norton Anne Alves Christine Karen Kay Bunting Judy Pfaff Jocelyn Thayer Dawn Colket Jerry Vergeront Shirley Ferguson Don Draper
How Brian Solved the Puzzle
When four prime ministers met here recently, they were not attending Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
1. Where is this location? 2. What is unusual about it? 3. What is the nearest large city?
The guests were welcomed at the entrance to the Mikołaj Daniłowicz Shaft by the Chairman of the Board of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine S.A., Kajetan d’Obyrn, the Chairman of the Board of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Tourist Route, Marian Leśny, Member of the Board for Technical Issues of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine S.A., Dariusz Wojciechowski, and Services Director of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Tourist Route, Jarosław Malik.
The guests then took the elevator down into the mine to the II lower level, 101 meters below ground level, and visited the Chapel of St. Kinga. The chapel, carved out in rock salt, is one of the most beautiful historic places in the mine. The politicians were amazed with its beauty and the enormous space cut out in rock salt. They also visited the Erazm Barącz and Stanisław Staszic chambers.
The prime ministers symbolically shook hands in a gesture of unity. During dinner in the Warszawa Chamber, 125 meters below ground level, the prime ministers summarized the ending leadership of Poland in the Vyshehrad Group countries and discussed the priorities under the leadership of Hungary. Amongst other aspects, the prime ministers discussed the issues of energy safety, the nearing climate summit in Copenhagen, and the engagement of the Vyshehrad Group countries in the Eastern Partnership project.
The prime ministers then signed the Book of Guests. Prime Minister Donald Tusk presented his guests with salt sculptures created by talented Wieliczka miners, coffee table books and films on the historic undergrounds.
The underground meeting of the four prime minister took place as part of the anniversary celebrating the first free elections held in Poland in 1989.