Architecture

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

jordan kushins, Gawker Media

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

If opulent isn't an adjective you'd immediately associate with the mining profession, then you've clearly never had a peek inside Poland's Wieliczka Salt Mine. The subterranean marvel (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has been operational since the first shafts were dug way back in the 13th century, but the decor has come a long, long way in the subsequent years. And now, thanks to Google, we can explore it from afar.

In addition to the more traditionally rugged excavation routes, Wieliczka's underground landmark is home to elaborate chapels, crystalized chandeliers, and art galleries, all carved out of common sodium chloride. The reverent treatment nods to a not-so-distant past where salt was a hot commodity, valued in a way that went way beyond a few casual sprinkles over dinner.

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

Visitors can take a hard-hat tour of the mine, but in lieu of an IRL visit (or for those who prefer to travel pants-less from the comfort of their own home), Wieliczka recently became the latest World Wonder to get the Google Street View treatment. It joins a veritable greatest hits of amazing spots around the globe being preserved in this incredibly accessible way. Quick click to an explorer's hut in Antarctica abandoned since 1912? Heck Yeah. Scroll around the Cinque Terre villages that dot the Mediterranean sea? Yes please. Hold your breath at the unbelievable underwater views of the Great Barrier Reef? Go on.

Explore the Wieliczka Salt Mine here (and a few less polished pics below, via the official site), but please: Don't lick your screen. [PopSci]

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

Take a Street View Tour of an Underground Chapel Built Out of Salt

Also on Gizmodo

Ten Most Stunning Architectural Wonders in India

prevnext
of 10
  • Taj-Mahal,-Agra,-Uttar-Pradesh
  • Galden-Namgey-Lhatse,-Tawang,-Arunachal-Pradesh
  • Nalanda-Ruins,-Nalanda,-Bihar
  • Ruins-of-Vijaynagar-Empire,-Hampi,-Karnataka
  • The-Iron-Pillar,-Delhi
  • Sun-Temple,-Konark,-Odisha
  • Ajanta-&-Ellora-Caves,-Aurangabad,-Maharashtra
  • Golden-Temple,-Amritsar,-Punjab
  • Fatehpur-Sikri,-Agra,-Uttar-Pradesh
  • Chhatrapati-Shivaji-Terminus,-Mumbai
  • Taj-Mahal,-Agra,-Uttar-Pradesh
  • Galden-Namgey-Lhatse,-Tawang,-Arunachal-Pradesh
  • Nalanda-Ruins,-Nalanda,-Bihar
  • Ruins-of-Vijaynagar-Empire,-Hampi,-Karnataka
  • The-Iron-Pillar,-Delhi
  • Sun-Temple,-Konark,-Odisha
  • Ajanta-&-Ellora-Caves,-Aurangabad,-Maharashtra
  • Golden-Temple,-Amritsar,-Punjab
  • Fatehpur-Sikri,-Agra,-Uttar-Pradesh
  • Chhatrapati-Shivaji-Terminus,-Mumbai
Taj-Mahal,-Agra,-Uttar-Pradesh

The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world, so it is no surprise that it headlines this list. This mausoleum was built in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan over a span of 22 years, as a tribute for his beloved wife Mumtaz. The Indo-Islamic and Hindu architectural style has been used for this monument of love. The famous white marble dome rests on massive white marble terraces and is flanked on either side like sentinels by four tapering minarets. The jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the deceased queen rests within the dome. 

Comments are moderated and will be allowed if they are about the topic and not abusive.
Characters Remaining: 3000
To post this comment you must Log In/Connect with:
x
Recommended for you