Bečov nad Teplou
Exhibition of St. Maurus Reliquary
Bečov nad Teplou Castle is a Gothic castle in the town of Bečov nad Teplou in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. It is located on a hilltop, overlooking the town and the Tepla River. The castle is known for its Romanesque St. Maurus Reliquary.
The St. Maurus Reliquary is a gold and silver shrine made in the 12th century. It is one of the most valuable pieces of goldsmithing in the Czech Republic. The shrine is made in the shape of a church, and it contains the relics of Saint Maurus, a 4th-century martyr.
Owners of the castle cooperated with Nacis and were forced to leave the country in 1945. The reliquary was buried beneath the floor together with 103 bottles of French cognac in the chapel and effectively forgotten. In 1984, American businessman approached Czechoslovak authorities with an offer to pay 250,000 USD for the right to excavate and export abroad an unidentified object. From the fragments of information provided, the authorities initiated a search operatio nand they were able to identify that the "object" must be located in Bečov Castle or surrounding area. When searching the floor in the old castle chapel they identified that a large metallic object was below and after removing the wooden boards they discovered the St. Maurus reliquary on 5 November 1985.