Salt has been extracted in and around Bochnia already since the Neolithic Lengyel Culture but more intensively since the 11th century. It is the same “salt field” which runs under Wieliczka. Water from wells (brine water) was raised to the surface and boiled in metal containers. When due to increasing demand, the ground water level sank, the wells needed to be dug deeper and as ac consequence, one reached to salt layers and dug up salt since about 1248 AD.
Near the Campi mineshaft, the Bochnia Salt Mine Resort Ltd. Designed a ploughmen’s settlement, “Osada VI Oraczy” staging how life could have been like on the 13th century. It not only focuses on the early salt mining with a planned adventurer’s shaft, but also shows a ploughman’s homestead from the days when three field crop rotation came into effect.
Rope making with a ropewalk is also presented here, like weaving, brewing, making pottery, carpentry, blacksmith work et cetera. There are at least 17 houses in the village, around a common, each of which presents a craft or activity, including that of the village leader, the ‘locator’. Special attention goes to pottery and refining clay as well as agricultural implements and tools.
You can visit the village under guidance – the Osada also has a small restaurant and the salt mine has a shop and parking spots.