During repair work in the basement of the cathedral in Svidnica, Poland, restorers discovered an unknown crypt with a mysterious 17th century pewter sarcophagus inside. This unique discovery was made during the reconstruction of the former boiler room building located in the southern part of the church, under the chapels of Our Lady of Swidnica and St. Joseph. The restorers, who worked in the crypt for several months, did not expect to find another burial chamber behind one of the walls.
Inside the crypt they found a 17th century sarcophagus, the lid of which is decorated with a colored image. According to local historian Sobieslav Novotny, the tomb painting depicts military equipment typical of officers. This indicates the high status of the buried person. It was possible to identify his identity from the archives.
Count Georg von Schlick, an Austrian commander of the times of the Thirty Years’ War, turned out to be the owner of the found sarcophagus. “In 1935, the Germans thoroughly described all the crypts at this site,” Novotny explained. – Thanks to this, we now know that the sarcophagus found belonged to Count Georg von Schlick. According to the inscription on the coffin, he died on November 1, 1640 on the outskirts of Helena Góra, besieged by the imperial army”.
This discovery arouses the interest of researchers, as archival sources mention two other sarcophagi that were installed in the same crypt. They belonged to Colonel von Poppingen and Chancellor of Svidnica and Jawor von Oberg. The researchers hope that further excavations will find these coffins as well. In addition, behind the walls of the found crypt hides another room, which is planned to be found in the near future.
This discovery is of great importance for the study of the history of Svidnica and the region as a whole. Sarcophagi from the 17th century are valuable artifacts that can tell us about the life and death of prominent personalities of that time. They are also of historical value and can help scholars better understand this period in European history.