Route 19: With salt deposits under the wheels
Wieliczka, Biskupice (7 km) Hucisko (14.5 km) Raciborsko (22 km) Pawlikowice (25 km) Wieliczka (29 km)
29 km, 4h, difficulty: medium
Altitude profile of the route:
We invite you to a trip that begins in Wieliczka, a city related to salt mining for centuries. The entire route leads through the commune bicycle trail, with a small branch for those interested in extending their trip. Before leaving on the route, we can’t miss visit the salt mine (1) and related monuments (2), as well as the Saltworks Castle (3). We start the route from the Wieliczka–Rynek train stop. We go to the Upper Market Square by ul. Zamkowa next to the church of St Clement (4). It is here that begins the red bicycle trail, which will guide us for over 10 km. We leave the Market Square by ul. Batorego and continue along ul. Św. Sebastiana, we pass the wooden church (5), then cross road No. 964 and soon we leave Wieliczka. Looking for trail markings, we go through Lednica Górna, Tomaszkowice to Biskupice, where we pass a neo-Gothic church from the 20th century (6). Leaving Biskupice, we take a dirt path to shorten the route through the forest and steeply descend the road to Dobranowice. Here we can choose a shortcut option by going right or go left along the proposed route. We descend almost 3 km through the valley of the Sułówka stream to Hucisko. Just before the road on the left, we turn right into a narrow asphalt road. After 500 m, we pass the T. Kantor’s house and the ‘Chair’ monument (7). After reaching the ridge, we turn right and drive along a 3.5 km scenic road to the intersection at the chapel in Dobranowice. We turn left here, again onto the red bike trail. A few dozen meters behind the curve of the road, following the trail, we turn right, and initially by asphalt road and then by the dirt road, we get to Koźmice Małe. We cross road 964 twice and go up the hill to the church in Pawlikowice. A little further we go down again to the provincial road, then we turn left on the side street. Until the end of the trip in Wieliczka, we stick to the red bike trail, passing the manor in Siercza (8) on the way.
ATTRACTIONS ON THE ROUTE:
Wieliczka Salt Mine (1) – the oldest salt company in Poland, which dates back to the Middle Ages. The mine, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, consists of a network of shafts and adits with a length of approx. 300 km, located on 9 levels. In the part open to the public, covering a 3.5-kilometre section at a depth of 64 to 135 m, you can admire the lakes, original mining equipment and devices, as well as the unique Chapel of St Kinga, which can accommodate over 500 people. The place also houses a therapeutic and rehabilitation centre. Information: www.kopalnia.pl.
Monuments of mining sites in Wieliczka (2) include mainly old shaft houses: Górsko (17th century), Saint Kinga’s (19th century), Daniłowicz (17th century) and the Regis shaft (14th century).
Saltworks Castle in Wieliczka (3) – built at the turn of the 13th and 14th century, rebuilt after the destruction occurred during the World War II. Former headquarters of the mine superintendents and managers. Currently, the Krakow Saltworks Museum.
St Clement’s Church in Wieliczka (4) – built in the 19th century. Interior furnishings from the 13th and 14th centuries. It has next to it the bell tower founded by Jan III Sobieski after his victory over the Turks. Information: www.klemens.pl.
Wooden church of St Sebastian in Wieliczka (5) – built in 1582. Inside: valuable paintings from the 16th century, Young Poland polychromy made by Wł. Tetmajer in 1906 and stained-glass windows designed by Stanisław Matejko.
The church in Biskupice (6) – erected in 1914 in place of the previous temples from the 11th and 17th centuries. A stone portal from the oldest church has survived.
Kantor’s Chair in Hucisko (7) – this 14-metre-high concrete chair is a monument honouring Tadeusz Kantor (1915–1995), the world-famous creator of the Cricot 2 theatre, director, stage designer and painter. Next to it, you can find an original villa, the artist’s former home.
- Manor in Siercza (8) – dating back the 19th century, surrounded by a historic park. Currently, the Monastery of Ursuline Sisters.