Just when you think you have seen it all.
New Advent links to a story about an underground cathedral built entirely of salt by devout Polish salt miners. Simply astounding!!
It may feel like you are in the middle of a Jules Verne adventure as you descend in to the depths of the world. After a one hundred and fifty meter climb down wooden stairs the visitor to the salt mine will see some amazing sites. About the most astounding in terms of its sheer size and audacity is the Chapel of Saint Kinga. The Polish people have for many centuries been devout Catholics and this was more than just a long term hobby to relieve the boredom of being underground. This was an act of worship.
Amazingly, even the chandeliers are made of salt. An act of worship indeed.
August 12, 2011 at 4:40 am
Sheer beauty. Need a word that conveys awesome better than the overused word awesome!
August 12, 2011 at 8:31 am
Adds new meaning to what Jesus said when He said "You are the salt of the Earth."
August 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm
I have a peice of that salt. Asthmatic children were brought underground to survive before inhalers were discovered. Hospitals were in the salt mines where there was no pollen. An Italian princess asked her father for the salt mines, threw her wedding ring into them and claimed them for Poland. She married the King of Poland and was much beloved. 40% of the Polish language comes straight from the Italian. The Queen's name is Bona Maria Sforza.
August 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm
Salt sed to be so valuable it was used as money. But this salt cathedral is beyond price! Scotju
August 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm
I follow the Richmond,Virginia Catholic Diocesan model of Church. WE are Church! And as a Bread-breaking, Cup-drinking people, WE celebrate, WE believe! It's not the building, it's the GATHERED people!
August 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Amazing! Breathtaking… what an interesting story.
August 13, 2011 at 12:24 am
Hm. And in California, the Diocese of Orange is trying to purchase the Crystal Cathedral. Such a contrast.
@Anonymous of Virginia: if you're talking about the fact that the True Presence is there, whether Mass is in a Cathedral, a chapel, or the woods, all right. However, I hear a Marty Haugen song coming on. I've lived in the Diocese of Richmond and say with a shudder that the door has been closed on the 1970s. Amen to that!
August 13, 2011 at 1:53 am
Anon. The fact that you are 'bread breaking' and 'cup drinking' as opposed to consuming the Blessed Sacrament, the Body of Christ and/or the Precious Blood pretty much says it all. What you seem to fail to appreciate is that the architecture is another act of worship and while the place doesn't matter in one sense, it certainly does matter.
August 13, 2011 at 3:08 am
The Queen's name was actually Kinga (hence the St. Kinga). She was a Hungarian princess who married the Polish king and gave Poland salt. She threw her ring into a Hungarian mine, and found it again in the mine pictured above. My mother, born in Warsaw, is named after St. Kinga. I'm not sure who Bona Maria Sforza is, but she is part of a different story. Thank you for posting pictures. I've never seen the mines, though I hope to one day.
August 15, 2011 at 2:37 am
I have had the great fortune of visiting the mine, and though there are several chapels, this church within it is the most stunning. Three men essentially carved this out of salt over a period of decades when they weren't working. It is truly stunning, and was not to my knowledge commissioned, but done out of love.