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Bochnia Salt Mine: the oldest mine in Poland

26/08/2019

Bochnia, with a population of nearly 30,000, is a tranquil and idyllic regional town located in Lesser Poland and conveniently situated about 40km from the region’s capital and Poland’s second largest city – Cracow.

Bochnia Royal Salt Mine

Bochnia is probably best known for its historic Salt Mine, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 as an extension to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which itself was added to the UNESCO list in 1978. Bochnia Salt Mine dates back to 1248, which makes it the oldest mine in Poland and one of the oldest in the world.

For visitors to the mine, one of the most interesting aspects is that you can clearly observe how the different mining techniques employed have developed over the many centuries, defining the shape, structure and layout of the salt mine as we know it today. The history of this breath-taking site can be best experienced by taking a walk along the August Passage – also known as ‘the Long Stove’ - which used to be the main transportation route linking the eastern and western sections of the mine. With its multiple chambers and shafts, it forms a spellbinding underground settlement.

The passages in the underground section of the mine definitely deserve mention too, as they constitute an extremely valuable historical source and provide an illuminating insight into the lives of the miners, including their traditions, beliefs, and the methods of excavation that they employed. Historically, there were about 30 underground chapels, which not only served as places of faith and worship, but also as meeting points where miners could congregate. The salt mine even contains a chapel that has train tracks running through it, the first of its kind in the world!

Another good reason to visit Bochnia Salt Mine are the innumerable health benefits contained within the so-called 'Ważyn Chamber'. The largest chamber inside the mine (255m long, 7m high) and deepest (at 248m), was named after the mine's administrator, Andrzej Ważyński. The conditions within the Ważyn Chamber are very beneficial thanks to the purity of the air and the high saturation of micro-elements, such as magnesium or calcium. The chamber, besides being the endpoint of all guided tours through the mine, is equipped with 300 beds and even contains a basketball and volleyball court.

FCC Environment CEE in Bochnia

Our company has been active in the region for 6 years, keeping the city clean by collecting the locals' waste with our blue garbage trucks. The contract is operated by FCC branch in Cracow.

A passage in Bochnia Salt Mine, UNESCO_FCC Bochnia Salt Mine, UNESCO_FCC




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  • International team of experts

    Our team of more than 4 416 employees in 8 countries of CEE signs responsible for the smooth operation of all our services.

  • Waste as a resource

    Thanks to modern waste treatment solutions we give 560 000 tons of secondary raw materials a second life annually.

  • Just in time

    Nearly 1.3 million containers, skips and bins of all sizes and  1 347 trucks or special vehicles ensure secure and efficient collection and transport of all waste for further treatment.

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FCC Environment CEE Group in figures

1 347 trucks and special vehicles

Over 1 300 000 containers and bins

96 collection yards

18 transfer stations

31 sorting plants

11 RDF (alternative fuels treatment)

9 splitting plants

21 mechanical biological treatment plants and/or composting

27 landfills

1 waste-to-energy-plant for household and commercial waste

1 incineration facility for hazardous waste

4.9 mil residents served

4.1 mil t/a of waste processed

8 countries

51 400 industrial clients

Partner of 1 379 municipalities

21 joint-ventures with municipalities

more than 0.56mil t/a SRM handled

200 GWh/a generated by W2E plants and landfills cogeneration units

4 800 km of streets cleaned

644 hectares of green areas maintained 

Did you know?
FCC CEE Group has more than 10 years of experience in used clothes business
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300 to 400 kg of compost can be produced from 1 tonne of biodegradable waste
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Metals and glass are 100% recyclable
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In Europe, up to 90% of the green glass bottle is made of recycled glass
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More than 0,7 litres of base lube oil can be produced from 1,0 litre of used mineral oil and is being used for engine, transmission and hydraulic oils
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With the energy needed for productions of 1 drink can from bauxite, it is possible to produce 20 cans from recycled aluminium
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Recycling of 1 tonne of steel saves 1.100 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone
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Used paper can be recycled and used in fresh paper production up to 6 times
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Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves more than 2 tonnes of wood
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1 tonne of refuse-derived fuel produced by FCC CEE Group 600 kilograms of heating oil or more than 800 kilograms of stone coal
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Recycling of plastics saves limited virgin raw materials (crude oil and natural gas) and reduces energy consumption by 80 to 90%