Hundreds of silver coins discovered near Lukov castle in Moravia

Lukov Castle

A Medieval treasure encompassing more than 400 silver coins was found in the woods near the South Moravian Castle Lukov recently. Two members of the local castle society found them while picking mushrooms. The coins are now being restored and analysed, but should be put on view soon at the annual Lukov Castle Day on September 19.

Once a large royal castle during the rule of the mighty Luxembourg dynasty, Lukov is a Gothic ruin today, having been destroyed by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War. However, the discovery of a silver treasure in the surrounding woods shows that it still hides some secrets.

The find was made by members of the Society of Friends of Lukov Castle (Spolek přátel hradu Lukova), a group of enthusiasts who manage the upkeep of what is considered one of the most beautiful ruins in the Czech Republic. Its Chairman Jiří Holík says it all happened quite by chance.

“It was found by two of our members who were picking mushrooms. They were just passing through an oak forest when they saw something shiny that looked like metal. It turned out to be the coins. It seems that the area had been recently dug up by wild boars who were probably feeding on fallen acorns. They gave me a call and I headed over there.”

Mr Holík called archaeologists to inform them of the sensational find. A team of specialists then arrived to check the site as well.

“We found exactly 392 Prague groschen from around the year 1400. These groschen were minted from roughly the year 1300 to 1550 with slight adjustments being made on the coins as each ruler came to power.

“We cannot date the coins more specifically, because all we did is just give some dirty coins to the archaeologists. However, there were also 27 Hellers there minted by the Margrave Jobst of Moravia. This was a more significant find, because those coins were only minted during a relatively short time span of 20 years around the year 1400.”

Jobst of Moravia was the nephew of the famous Czech King and Emperor Charles IV. He inherited the title of Margrave of Moravia from his father. However, towards the end of the fourteenth century a quarrel broke out between Jobst and his younger brother Prokop, who wanted the title for himself.

Mr Holík believes that the treasure might be related to the situation at the time of this feud.

“Most likely some merchant or tradesman placed their small fortune in a jug and hid it in a hole they dug near the castle.”

The coins are currently in the process of being cleaned and dated by experts at the Museum of Southeast Moravia in Zlín. Jiri Holík says that at least a part of the treasure will be put on show for visitors on the occasion of the Day of the Castle on September 19. Subsequently, the coins should be put on view as part of exhibitions back at the Museum of Southeast Moravia in Zlín.

Lukov is one of the largest and oldest Moravian castles. It was built at the beginning of the thirteenth century as part of a system of defences to secure the Moravian frontier with Hungary. One of its most famous owners was the Bohemian warlord Albrecht von Wallenstein, who led the catholic field army during the initial period of the Thirty Years War. However, the same war saw its defences eventually destroyed and the castle fell into disrepair, eventually becoming a ruin. Nevertheless, it remains a popular tourist site and won the National Heritage Institute’s prestigious Monument of the Year Award in 2016.