Industrial heritage refers to the physical remains of the history of technology and industry. It is often used in connection to museums or historic districts, particularly in the United Kingdom, which, as the birthplace of modern industry, has the oldest remains of the Industrial Revolution in the world. The scientific study of such remains is called industrial archaeology. The industrial heritage of a region is an aspect of its cultural heritage. Organizations dedicated to the study and preservation of such include The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine (Polish: Kopalnia soli Wieliczka), located in the town of Wieliczka in southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. The mine, built in the 13th century, produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation. From its beginning and throughout its existence, the Royal mine was run by the Żupy krakowskie Salt Mines. Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding.
The mine's attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels and an entire cathedral that has been carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The oldest sculptures are augmented by the new carvings by contemporary artists. About 1.2 million people visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine annually.