Poland

Zloty stok mine

This thousand-year-old gold mine was once the only source of arsenic in the world.

Zloty stok mineA Glittering Death

While the Złoty Stok mine dates back to around the year 1000, it wasn’t until the 16th century that the town truly began to blossom thanks to the mining and working of the rich gold deposits found on the ‘golden slope’ (the literal translation of the Złoty Stok). In the 18th century, gold mining began to decline, and instead, Złoty Stok shifted its focus to extracting deadly arsenic - for over a century it was the only source in the world. After being modernized, the mine finally closed in 1960, though its gold supply still hadn’t been fully exhausted. Today, the mine serves as a museum to the town’s rich subterranean tradition. Visitors can join a guided tour the mine’s tunnels, where you can see the only underground waterfall in Poland, or take a boat-ride through a flooded passage. You can also see how Złoty Stok operated centuries ago in the Medieval Mining Village, which exhibits 1:1 replicas of historic mining equipment. For more information, please visit kopalniazlota.pl

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