The Wieliczka Salt Mine wasn't meant to be a city. The legend has it that, Princess Kinga, who was getting married to Boleslaw V the Chaste, Prince of Krakow, asked her father for a lump of salt as dowry. Back in those days, salt was of great value in Poland. To fulfill his daughter's wish, the king took her to the salt mine in Máramaros. There, she threw her engagement ring into one of the shafts. When she came to Krakow after her marriage, she asked the salt miners to dig until they hit a rock. The miners, in return, found a lump of salt. Upon breaking the salt lump into two parts, they found her ring. Since then, she became the patron saint of the salt miners. In another story, the ring is supposed to have miraculously traveled to Wieliczka, where the miners actually found it. However, the status of the Wieliczka Salt Mine becomes that of a city during World War II. The shafts in the mine were used by the Germans as a temporary facility for running several war-related industries. The historic salt mine was producing salt until 2007. Today, the place is open to tourists, and is home to several statues carved by the miners, a cathedral, and many other works of art by contemporary artists.