Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Wieliczka Salt Mine in one day. Explore one of the most terrifying but touching places in the world on a guided tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Then enter the famous salt mines to see the stunning 'underground town' with lakes, passages and the marvelous St Kinga chapel.
Auschwitz-Birkenau (1941 – 1945) was the largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. Located in German-occupied southern Poland, it took its name from the nearby town of Oświęcim, situated within the range of about 25 kilometers from Katowice. The complex consisted of three main camps: Auschwitz I – the administrative center, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) – an extermination camp, and Auschwitz III (Monowitz) – a work camp. In 1990, the figure of people killed in the camp was placed at 1.1 million.
About 90 percent of them were Jews from almost every European country. Most of the dead were killed in gas chambers using Zyklon B; other deaths were caused by systematic starvation, forced labor, lack of disease control, individual executions, and so-called medical experiments. At the end of the war, the SS made great efforts to destroy what remained of the camp, burn the archives, and murder all the people they referred to as the 'Bearers of Secrets'.
After, journey 135 meters underground to the only salt mine in the world preserved in such pristine condition that it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list - the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
The historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka welcomes over 1 million tourists per year to discover the location where mining has continued since the Middle Ages. Constructed over nine levels, its original excavations (longitudinals, traverses, chambers, lakes, as well as lesser and major shafts) stretch for a total of 300 kilometers. Reaching a depth of 327 meters they illustrate all the stages of the development of the mining technology over time.