All roads to the Holy Grail eventually lead to the Knights Templar, and all roads to the Knights Templar eventually lead to … Poland? True to their crusading reputation, the Knights Templar got around to a lot of places, including the village of Chwarszczany on Poland’s north-northwest border with Germany. That’s where the Church of Saint Stanisław Kostka once served as a commandery for the Knights beginning in 1232, and where they built the Templar Chapel. Still standing, today it holds a Templar museum and has a hidden history beneath it. That’s where archeologists have been pointing their ground-penetrating radar and recently discovered tunnels and a crypt with remains. (Cue the Monty Python music.) Did they find their grail too?
"Our GPR has detected gothic crypts with the remnants of Templar knights beneath the chapel. According to legends and medieval documents, there was a well in the vicinity of the chapel. Rumor has it that the well served as an entrance to a secret tunnel. This still requires an exhaustive archeological investigation".
Przemysław Kołosowski, an archeologist working to preserve Chwarszczany's medieval heritage, tells CNN that researchers also found more fortifications and a graveyard in what began as a search for the Templar commandery, of which the Chapel is the only remaining building. Instead, they found remains of a distillery, but not an alleged bridge used to cross a trench rumored to have been dug around the commandery. The radar also located remnants of buildings the archeologists have no records of, which means more searches are needed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah … what about the Grail?
Well, the crypts – seven in total – were opened and the remains in them were dated much later than the Templars. A gold coin was found – the Holy Grail was alleged to have been sunk in a nearby lake with gold coins after the Knights were disbanded. A coin was discovered in the excavations – but it’s from the Battle of Sarbinowo (in the Seven Years War) in 1758. The underground tunnels may hold clues, but that requires more radar scans before any excavations can begin.
Should they give up?
Give up the quest for the Grail? Unheard of! It turns out this area of Poland was a hotbed of Knights Templar activity back in the 13th century. The nearby town of Rurka has its own Chapel of the Knights Templar that is currently closed for renovation, and Myślibórz, just down the road, has preserved fortifications which are said to look as they did during the Crusades.
Why are they looking under these chapels? Didn’t you say the Knights sank the box holding the Grail and the coins in a lake?
Good question. Myślibórz is surrounded by four lakes, but none of them are the right one, according to Marek Karolczak, a local historian. That lake requires a trip to nearby Świątki – however, before you go …
“The lake, which used to be located near the village of Świątki -- also owned by the Knights Templars -- has dried out and the treasure has either been stolen or lost forever in the swamp.”
Don’t give up! Remember what the Pythons said:
Life is really up to you
You must choose what to pursue
Set your mind on what to find
And there's nothing you can't do
So keep right to the end
You'll find your goal my friend
You won't fail
Find your grail
Find your grail
Find your grail
Find Your Grail (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)