Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Is it possible? Yes it is. Using special salt mixes, builders in countries from Bolivia to Poland have been building with sodium chloride for centuries.

Humans have a long, conflicted relationship with salt. Homer called it "the divine substance." It drove many of the earliest trading economies, from the Phoenicians to the Venetians, and towns built around salt mines are some of the earliest human settlements. These days, some claim we're addicted to it. In his book Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky explains that modern humans eat so much salt, it's hard to imagine how precious it once was. "Salt is so common," he says, "that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about a hundred years ago salt was one of the most sought after commodities in human history."

Which would have made these nine salty structures—which are built almost entirely from salt blocks—incredibly valuable. Check them out below.


The Salt Palace in Saline, Texas has been lickable for 80 years. Literally. Visitors are encouraged to taste the building. Deep below it are the expansive salt deposits that produce the ubiquitous American brand, Morton's Salt.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS


Image credit: Wikipedia


Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni is the biggest salt flat in the world (as well as the world's largest lithium reserves!). So naturally, that's the spot where someone would think to build the Palacio de Sal, a hotel made of salt.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS


Image credit: Palacio de Sal


This sodium-rich building is located in the Salinas Grandes salt desert in Argentina.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS


Image credit: Flickr


The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow, Poland, is incredible. One of the oldest salt mines in the world, it continuously produced table salt from the 13th century until 2007. It has several chapels carved from salt, like this one.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Image credit: Flickr


An entire cathedral carved from salt.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Image credit: Flickr


Hundreds of icons and carvings, all created by the miners.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Image credit: Flickr


And this amazing rock salt chandelier.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS


Image credit: Flickr


Bochnia, Poland also has its own, slightly lesser known salt mines, where this lovely subterranean church is located.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Image credit: Wikipedia


You'll find this illuminated salt mosque in the depths of the Khewra Salt Mine in Punjab, Pakistan.

Buildings You Can Lick: 9 Spectacular Structures Made Out of SaltS

Image credit: Flickr