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Wieliczka Janusz Podlecki

Wieliczka

Janusz Podlecki

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Hardcover
136 pages
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 About the Book 

Wieliczka, the seven-hundred-years-old royal mining town, lies in Little Poland (Malopolska), near Cracow, the old capital of Poland. It owes its existence and increasing fame to the rock-salt mine, which is also seven hundred years old. The closeMoreWieliczka, the seven-hundred-years-old royal mining town, lies in Little Poland (Malopolska), near Cracow, the old capital of Poland. It owes its existence and increasing fame to the rock-salt mine, which is also seven hundred years old. The close association of the town and the mine can be seen in Wieliczkas coat of arms which features miners tools: a hammer and two picks, as well as in the townscape dominated by the hoist towers. The name of the town first appeared in a document issued by the papal legate Idzi in 1123-27 as Magnum Sal, that is Great Salt.... Wieliczka lies at the meeting point of the Carpathian Sink and the Carpathian Foot-hills, in a deep and vast valley surrounded by wooded hills which stretch in the west-east direction. To the south of the town the hills are higher than those in the north, and offer a splendid panorama of both Wieliczka and Cracow. From time immemorial the surface salt springs attracted people to settle nearby, for salt was a valuable commodity, and salt trade was very profitable.... The largest settlement, located near the present parish church of St. Clement, the castle and the gardens, developed into the town of Wieliczka. About the mid-thirteenth century rock-salt was discovered in that area underground. As a mineral, salt was the property of the ruler. In the fourteenth century a royal enterprise was founded in order to drill wells to mine salt- the Cracow Salt-works consisted of salt-works, salt mines and related crafts, and employed local population. Wieliczka, which was a large settlement with salt-works and a market, became a town in 1290, when it was granted a charter according to Franconian law by Przemysl ll, Duke of Cracow and Sandomierz... It seems reasonable to expect that salt, a great underground treasure, would make the town vibrant and prosperous. However, according to Polish law, all minerals, including salt, were the kings property, and later state property- thus all profits went to the Crown...