Bochnia AUD is a town of 30,000 inhabitants on the river Raba
Raba River
The Raba is a river in the south of Poland, right tributary to the river Vistula. Its source is in the Beskids, between the towns of Rabka-Zdrój and Nowy Targ. It flows to the north and then to the northeast. Towns along the river Raba include Rabka-Zdrój, Mszana Dolna, Myślenice and Dobczyce.-See...

 in southern Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. The town lies approximately in halfway [38 kilometres (24 mi)] between Tarnów
Tarnów is a city in southeastern Poland with 115,341 inhabitants as of June 2009. The city has been situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999, but from 1975 to 1998 it was the capital of the Tarnów Voivodeship. It is a major rail junction, located on the strategic east-west connection...

 (east) and the regional capital Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

 (west). Bochnia is most noted for its salt mine, the oldest functioning in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, built circa 1248. Since Poland's administrative reorganization in 1999, Bochnia has been the administrative capital of Bochnia County
Bochnia County
Bochnia County is a unit of territorial administration and local government in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, southern Poland. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Bochnia, which lies ...

 in Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Małopolska Voivodeship , or Lesser Poland Voivodeship, is a voivodeship, in southern Poland...

. Before reorganization it was part of Tarnów Voivodeship
Tarnów Voivodeship
Tarnów Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in years 1975–1998, superseded by Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Its capital city was Tarnów. Located in southeastern part of the country, its area was 4,151 km2....



Bochnia is one of the oldest cities of Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

. The first known source mentioning the city is a letter of 1198, wherein Aymar the Monk, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is the title possessed by the Latin Rite Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem. The Archdiocese of Jerusalem has jurisdiction for all Latin Rite Catholics in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Cyprus...

, confirmed a donation by local magnate Mikora Gryfit to the monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Order of the Holy Sepulchre
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is a Roman Catholic order of knighthood under the protection of the pope. It traces its roots to Duke Godfrey of Bouillon, principal leader of the First Crusade...

 in Miechów
Miechów is a town in Poland, in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, about 40 km north of Kraków. It is the capital of Miechów County. Population is 11,852 ....

. The discovery of a major vein of rock salt
Halite , commonly known as rock salt, is the mineral form of sodium chloride . Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities...

 at the site of the present mine in 1248 led to the granting of city privileges (Magdeburg rights
Magdeburg rights
Magdeburg Rights or Magdeburg Law were a set of German town laws regulating the degree of internal autonomy within cities and villages granted by a local ruler. Modelled and named after the laws of the German city of Magdeburg and developed during many centuries of the Holy Roman Empire, it was...

) on 27 February 1253 by Bolesław V the Chaste.

Town & sights

  • One of the oldest salt mine
    Salt mine
    A salt mine is a mining operation involved in the extraction of rock salt or halite from evaporite deposits.-Occurrence:Areas known for their salt mines include Kilroot near Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland ; Khewra and Warcha in Pakistan; Tuzla in Bosnia; Wieliczka and Bochnia in Poland A salt mine...

     in the world (13th century), is an underground town today.
  • St. Nicholas Basilica
  • Old town and historical buildings
  • Statues of Leopold Okulicki
    Leopold Okulicki
    General Leopold Okulicki was a General of the Polish Army and the last commander of the anti-German underground Home Army during World War II. He was murdered after the war by the Soviet NKVD....

     and Casimir III of Poland
    Casimir III of Poland
    Casimir III the Great , last King of Poland from the Piast dynasty , was the son of King Władysław I the Elbow-high and Hedwig of Kalisz.-Biography:...

  • The Older parts of the cemetery at Oracka Street
  • The Catholic cemetery
  • The Jewish cemetery

Salt Mine

The Bochnia Salt Mine
Bochnia Salt Mine
The Bochnia Salt Mine in Bochnia, Poland is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest one in Poland. The mine was established between the 12th and 13th centuries after salt was first discovered in Bochnia, and became part of the Royal mining company żupy krakowskie . The mine was...

 (Polish: kopalnia soli w Bochni) is one of the oldest salt mines in the world and the oldest one in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Europe. The mine was established between the 12th and 13th centuries after salt was discovered in Bochnia. The mines measure 4,5 kilometres in length and 468 metres in depth at 16 different levels. Deserted chambers, shafts and passages form a so called underground town, which is now open to sightseers. The largest of the preserved chambers has been converted into a sanatorium.

Notable residents

  • St. Stanisław Szczepanowski
    Stanislaus of Szczepanów
    Stanislaus of Szczepanów, or Stanisław Szczepanowski, was a Bishop of Kraków known chiefly for having been martyred by the Polish king Bolesław II the Bold...

    , Poland's first native saint.
  • Ralph Modjeski
    Ralph Modjeski
    Ralph Modjeski was a Polish-born American civil engineer who achieved prominence as a pre-eminent bridge designer in the United States.-Life:...

     (Rudolf Modrzejewski), notable engineer in the United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

    , born 1861 to actress Helena Modjeska
    Helena Modjeska
    Helena Modjeska Helena Modjeska Helena Modjeska (October 12, 1840 – April 8, 1909, whose actual Polish surname was Modrzejewska , was a renowned actress who specialized in Shakespearean and tragic roles.Modjeska was the mother of Polish-American bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski....

  • Jan V. Mládek (Jan Viktor Mládek, 1912 Bochnia – 1989 Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    ), Czechoslovak economist, official of its exile government during World War II working with John M. Keynes and on preparations of the International Monetary Fund
    International Monetary Fund
    The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

     and Bretton Woods agreements, official of IMF for nearly 30 years, with his wife Meda Mládková established a foundation sponsoring work of Central European artists.
  • Bernhard Storch - World War II hero
  • Ludwik Stasiak
    Ludwik Stasiak
    Ludwik Stasiak , was a Polish painter, illustrator, writer, journalist, essayist and publisher....

    , Polish painter, writer and publicist.

Twin towns — sister cities

Bochnia is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

Bad Salzdetfurth
Bad Salzdetfurth
is a town on the banks of the river Lamme in the district of Hildesheim, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It was mentioned in Tom Clancy's bestseller Red Storm Rising.-Geography:...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Cavtat ) is a town in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. It is on the Adriatic seacoast 15 km south of Dubrovnik and is the centre of the Konavle municipality.-History:...

, Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

Kežmarok is a town in the Spiš region of eastern Slovakia , on the Poprad River.-History:...

, Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

Roselle, Illinois
Roselle is a city located in DuPage County and a small portion in Cook County Illinois in northeastern Illinois. It was first incorporated in 1922 and can correctly be relegated to a bedroom community — that is, a community that largely consists of residential zoning in both income streams...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

See also

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Photograph "An execution of Poles in Bochnia" in the article Einsatzgruppen
    Einsatzgruppen were SS paramilitary death squads that were responsible for mass killings, typically by shooting, of Jews in particular, but also significant numbers of other population groups and political categories...

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