History of Wieliczka Salt Mine

Kinga’s Chapel-underground salt chapel in Poland


The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in southern Poland is over 700 years old. Legend has it that Princess Kinga found the mine. In the 13th century, Kinga was a Hungarian princess set to marry the sovereign of Krakow, Poland. When asked what she wanted as a wedding gift, Kinga requested no jewels or gold, since she believed they only brought unhappiness and tears. She wanted something that would serve her people. So she asked for salt. Kinga was awarded the largest and prosperous salt mine in Hungry. Upon leaving for Poland, Kinga threw her ring into the mine. When she arrived in Poland Kinga asked miners to look for salt. They started digging and hit something very hard. It was a salt rock with her ring! Kinga then became known as the patron saint of the Wieliczka salt mine as she is attributed to finding the mine. When Kinga’s husband died, she gave up the throne and all of her possessions to become a simple Clares nun. Her life’s work included serving the poor and helping people with leprosy. Miners continued to dig out these salt deposits throughout the middle ages. They were not susceptible to the plague and their salt mining horses lived up to 6 years longer. Kinga lived a long life. She lived to be 68 years old, during the middle ages. Kinga was right! Salt is needed for good health. Salt is worth more than any jewels and riches in the world.

In 1843 doctor Felix Boczkowski formulated that the presence of the air in the salt mines in Wieliczka in Poland saturated with dry salt particles caused healing effects on people with pulmonary and respiratory problems.

Today the Wieliczka Salt Mine is operating as the largest Underground Rehabilitation and Treatment Center. They are the world leader in providing innovative rehabilitation and treatment of respiratory diseases by combining both the natural microclimate of the underground salt excavations and the best practices of contemporary medicine.

Salt contains elements essential to life: iodine, calcium. magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron , selenium, and copper. These are just some of the micro-elements whose lack or shortage in the human body lead to serious problems with physical and mental health. For example, the selenium contained in salt has a huge impact on halting skin aging processes. This is why treatments involving selenium saturated salt solutions are included in the offering of Polish health resorts and health and beauty centers. Many guidebooks on Poland feature detailed descriptions of the tourist and therapeutic value of the natural salt caves in Wieliczka and Bochnia. They offer comprehensive treatment of asthma, allergies, respiratory diseases, skin diseases/blemishes, and obesity. The part of this health spa (located 135 meters under the surface), in a chamber called Lake Wessel, offers unique therapeutic benefits, as well as, having a great aesthetic. Seven hour stays in absolutely pure air saturated with therapeutic sodium choride, ions of magnesium and calcium, in the expert care of doctors and physiotherapists, are not cheap. This treatment for the body and soul cannot be compared with anything available at the conventional sanatorium.

The salt mine in Wieliczka is unique on a global scale, but the therapeutic properties of salt are successfully used by other centers, in artificial caves built exclusively from timber without any metal parts, filled with salt. The special atmosphere of these artificial caves is due to the great care taken in recreating the landscape forms of natural caves, appropriate lighting that brings out the structures of lumps of salt crystals, soft music, and a pleasantly higher temperature and humidity compare to natural caves. Saturation with bio-elements precious to human health is many times higher than caves’ climate is conducive to absolute relaxation, as obviously, they are free of the unpleasant wind and noise of a raging storm.

The list of therapeutic effects of staying in artificial salt caves includes positive results in treatment of neuroses and neurotic states, rehabilitation after injuries sustained in sports or accidents, and in alleviating the effects of physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from working in jobs that involve, for example, a high level of responsibility for the lives of other people or financial accountability.

Sources: www.poland.travel.en/us and kopalnia.pl


Salt Spa St.Augustine

Salt Spa has imported over 25 tons of therapeutic salt from Poland and the Himalayas in order to create a unique microclimate rich in minerals, such as: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, bromine and iodine. During your 45 minute therapeutic session you will improve your health by relaxing in comfortable recliners, listening to the soothing sounds of music and breathing air that is saturated with these beneficial minerals. The air temperature inside the Salt Cave is 69 F and the humidity is maintained at 60%.