The European Games Flame was taken to the Wieliczka Salt Mine in a safety lamp ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023

The Flame for the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games has been taken underground to a salt mine.

It was carried in a miner's safety lamp to the Wieliczka Salt Mine as it made a descent of 125 metres to the Stanisław Staszic chamber, a cavern named after the Polish statesman who was also a pioneer of geological research in the region.

"Our presence in this extraordinary place is another step in the journey of the Flame of Peace," Krakow-Malopolska 2023 President Marcin Nowak said.

"The Fire of Peace, enclosed in a miner’s lamp reminds us of the Olympic ideals, honour, honesty, solidarity, these are also values that are important to the miners of Wieliczka, who created the mine."

The Flame was placed in a salt sculpture fashioned by miner and sculptor Jan Banaś.

This features the Games emblem flanked by Smok Krakusek and Salamandra Sandra, the European Games mascots.

The European Games Flame is set to burn in a sculpture at the mine until  competition ends on July 2 ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023
The European Games Flame is set to burn in a sculpture at the mine until competition ends on July 2 ©Kraków-Małopolska 2023

"The Flame of Peace has a symbolic dimension, in the past, the fire carried in a torch gave miners encouragement, helped them find their way, dispelled the mine’s darkness, it was a companion and a guide," Wieliczka Salt Mine management Board President Pawel Nowak explained.

"We have before us a celebration not only of sport, but also of the whole country," insisted Poland's Sport and Tourism Minister Kamil Bortniczuk as the Flame arrived in the mine.

"We have the opportunity to present ourselves as a safe, stable country capable of organising world-class sporting events and we have had to go through a lot together to make it happen.

"We have a bright future ahead of us and the prospect of organising even more ambitious projects." 

Meanwhile, the Flame, lit at Rome's Ara Pacis in early April, continues its journey to Kraków where the Games are scheduled to open on June 21 at the Henryk Reyman Municipal Stadium.