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Bochnia

Bochnia is a town of 30,000 inhabitants on the river Raba in southern Poland. The town lies approximately in halfway between Tarnów (east) and the regional capital Kraków (west). Bochnia is most noted for its salt mine, the oldest functioning in Europe, built circa 1248. Since Poland's administrative reorganization in 1999, Bochnia has been the administrative capital of Bochnia County in Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Before reorganization it was part of Tarnów Voivodeship.The area of Bochnia (as for 2002) is 29.89km. The town is located along national roads 94 and 75. The A4 motorway European route E40 also passes to the north of the town. It also has a rail station. Bochnia is a stop on a strategic West - East line from Kraków to Medyka (former Galician Railway of Archduke Charles Louis).HistoryBochnia is one of the oldest cities of Lesser Poland. The first known source mentioning the city is a letter of 1198, where in Aymar the Monk, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, confirmed a donation by local magnate Mikora Gryfit to the monastery of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów. The discovery of a major occurrence of rock salt at the site of the present mine in 1248 led to the granting of city privileges (Magdeburg rights) on 27 February 1253 by Bolesław V the Chaste. In the original founding document, German name of the town (Salzberg) is mentioned as well, since many residents of Bochnia were German-speaking settlers from Lower Silesia.
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