Workers accidentally discovered a jug filled to the brim with medieval silver coins under the rotten floorboards of an abandoned church. More than 300 years ago, the treasure was hidden during the Civil War by a blind Polish priest in the Church of the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Obisovce, located near Kosice in Slovakia.
This church in a tiny village of only three hundred inhabitants has been the centre of some exciting historical events for centuries. What did historians find out about this treasure, digging in the ancient archives?
For a church to be functional, it must be kept in proper shape. It is necessary to regularly carry out repair work on everything that is there: from the spire on the domes to the benches and the floor. In one of the dilapidated churches in the village of Obisovets, builders were doing significant repairs.
Under the floorboards, which were almost wholly rotted, workers discovered a hidden room. They called the archaeologists, and they were in for a very unexpected pleasant surprise. They found a sealed clay jug. When the seal was torn from the vessel’s neck, coins fell from there in a silver rain.
After scientists examined this treasure, it turned out that the coins date from the end of the 17th century and the earliest years of the 18th century. Of course, ancient treasures have been found quite a few times, and nothing supernatural is hidden here. But it is very, very rare to find out the true history of the treasure.
Because all churches keep old documents and historical records, in this case, the researchers were able to find out the history of the cache very quickly. Experts from the Triglav Archaeological Society analyzed and studied all the old archives, studied the coins themselves. They believe that, in all likelihood, the treasure was hidden by the priest of this church during the civil war in the region. Indeed these were donations from parishioners.
Even though the Obisovece village was never large, very few people always lived there. It turned out that it was it who became the epicentre of interesting historical events.
In the 1680s, there was an uprising here called the “Thokoly uprising” or “the Kurucs uprising”. It was started by Hungarian refugees, known for their anti-Habsburg sentiments. They came from different places in the territory of the then Ottoman Empire.
Although the Kurucs rebellion was suppressed in 1687, the world was soon destroyed again. This time, the region was rocked by civil war. The peasants fought against the noble Hungarians. In these difficult times, according to church documents, a Polish priest, blind in one eye, was in charge of the church in Obisovce. The parish was small, but apparently, the parishioners were generous. According to archaeologists, the amount of the discovered treasure is quite substantial.
During the fighting, the priest was wounded, and he fled. Why he did not take the coins from the cache remains unknown. The war almost destroyed the church. A new building was built in its place in the middle of the 19th century. Finally, already in our time, they decided to completely renovate the church because it is an important spiritual centre in the region.
Construction work began, and the remains of that old church were found under the building. After the team of archaeologists was invited, they discovered a secret room under the floorboards of which the coveted treasure jug was found.
Now work on the study is still underway, although a lot of scientists have already figured it out. Who knows, maybe the researchers, after careful analysis, will find out some more secrets of the treasure or details of the history of the blind priest? While experts are studying rare medieval coins and trying to find answers to all questions.