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Explorers Searched For 7 Years Before Finally Finding A Legendary Hermit's Treasure

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
A treasure trove of medieval coins linked to Antoni Jaczewicz, one of Poland’s most infamous hermit criminals from the 1700s, has been discovered in the country’s Świętokrzyskie Mountains.


The Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group had been exploring the mountains for roughly seven years when their search yielded a find of ancient coins. It started with a single pile, but the group soon found more coins buried in groups, all from the 17th and 18th centuries. The stockpile features orts, sixes, patagoons, kraicars, and kopecks, but the most fascinating piece was a gold Hamburg ducat from 1648 with an image of Madonna holding a child. A hole punched into the coin has led experts to believe it was once worn as a medallion.

According to a translated statement from the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Kielce, Jaczewicz was a hermit, adventurer, false prophet, and criminal.

During a plague at the start of the Great Northern War, Jaczewicz sold himself as someone with healing powers given directly to him by the Mother of God, who apparently lived with him in the wilderness. The Jaczewicz scam garnered large numbers of donations meant to incentivize the man to employ these healing powers kept flowing in, and Jaczewicz eventually had to hire a group of guards to protect his fraudulent gains from bandits looking to plunder his loot.

But keeping the dishonest gains wasn’t enough, and soon, Jaczewicz sent that assembly of guards to rob traveling pilgrims and raid surrounding properties.

Jaczewicz was eventually captured by authorities, but successfully escaped his first sentencing. He was later recaptured, and was sentenced to life in prison in 1712, just four years after his criminal behavior took root in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

Even with Jaczewicz imprisoned and his guards disbanded, his loot was never unearthed.

This troubled history led the Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group to search the mountains roughly 110 miles from Warsaw. Officials believe the discovered coins tie directly to Jaczewicz.


maximus otter