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Nail from Cross of Christ discovered in Milevsko monastery

The discovery of the Christian relic was preceded by the unearthing of a secret passage hidden behind a massive medieval wall. We believe it served as a treasury room for valuables concealed. This was confirmed by the discovery of fragments of precious metals in the crevices on the floor.


After extraction the sediment in the tresor, was be discovered another, very small and long cavity. Using cameras and specially adapted shovels, they removed the timber fragments of the reliquary, in which the nail was found and a solid gold plate inscribed with the letters IR.


According to dendrological research, the box of oak wood dates from the third or fourth century AD. The timber parts was analysed the using radiocarbon dating which uncovered two types of wood. The first, younger one, dates to the reign of Charles IV, between 1290 and 1394. The other comes from the period 260 to 416 AD.


The monastery was founded between 1184 and 1187 by George of Milevsko. The future first abbot of the Milev monastery, Jarloch, and his monks also took part in the construction of the monastery.

In 1191, the monastery burned down, but was rebuilt. He was ordained on October 1, 1201. Abbot Jarloch died in Milevsko in 1228 and was buried there. Later, the monastery housed up to 30 monks who, in addition to spiritual administration, were also engaged in economic activities, growing wine, grain, hops. When the monastery was raided by the Hussites on April 23, 1420, Jarloch's body was taken by the monks to Zvíkov and buried there in an unknown place. Some of the monks went to the provostship of Toužim, which belonged to the monastery. During the Hussite wars, the monastery was devastated. The then abbot of the monastery took all valuables to the Příběnice castle, but after the conquest of this castle by Hussites, the hidden valuables were destroyed.


Originally a Romanesque church of St. Giles, according to archaeological research it dates from the last third of the 12th century. From its inception until the founding of the monastery, it served as the ownership church for George of Milevsko. At the beginning of the 15th century, it was rebuilt in Gothic style with an architecturally valuable net vault of the so-called Milevsko type, which became a model during the construction of the Church of St. Vitus in Český Krumlov. From the original Romanesque building, only the tower of granite blocks with a wooden roof connected to the church on the west side can be seen from the outside. In late time, the church of St. Jiljí to serve as a parish church, as well as the Church of the Virgin Mary in the monastery complex serving the needs of monks. In 1785, the function of the parish church was transferred to the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Church of St. Giles gradually fell into disrepair. It was closed until 1883.



Relics that are claimed to be the Holy Nails with which Jesus was crucified are objects of veneration among some Christians, particularly Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox. In Christian symbolism and art they figure among the Arma Christi or Instruments of the Passion, the objects associated with the Passion of Jesus. Like the other Instruments, the Holy Nails have become an object of veneration among many Christians and have been pictured in paintings.


the authentica with letters I.R: 

The authenticity of these relics is doubtful. The Catholic Encyclopedia wrote:

Very little reliance can be placed upon the authenticity of the thirty or more holy nails which are still venerated, or which have been venerated until recent times, in such treasuries as that of Santa Croce in Rome, or those of Venice, Aachen, the Escurial, Nuremberg, Prague, etc. Probably the majority began by professing to be facsimiles which had touched or contained filings from some other nail whose claim was more ancient. Without conscious fraud on the part of anyone, it is very easy for imitations in this way to come in a very brief space of time to be reputed originals.


The Holy Nail from Milevsko

The mother of the emperor St. Helena, on learning the accomplishment of her desire, gave orders that a portion of the nails should be inserted in the royal helmet, in order that the head of her son might be preserved from the darts of his enemies. The other portion of the nails she ordered to be formed into the bridle of his horse.

source: https://english.radio.cz/nail-believed-be-part-cross-christ-discovered-milevsko-8703707