Explorers May Have Found Treasure of Legendary Polish Hermit

A cache of coins that may have belonged to notorious 18th-century conman Antoni Jaczewicz has been uncovered in Poland. The find has stirred excitement among historians and archaeologists. The Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group has been searching Poland’s Świętokrzyskie Mountains for seven years, trying to find the treasure.

Antoni Jaczewicz was a hermit who claimed to have mystical healing powers. His arrival in the mountains in 1708 coincided with the start of the Great Northern War and an outbreak of the plague. The vulnerable populace turned to Jaczewicz for healing and protection.

Legend says he amassed so much money from these desperate people that he was able to hire guards to protect his fortune. He also used them to rob pilgrims and aristocrats in the surrounding areas.

Photo: Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group


The Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group first found a pile of coins in June 2022. They then used metal detectors to unearth more coins buried in the area. All of them dated to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Orts, szóstaks, patagons, kreuzers, kopecks

The piles of silver and gold contained “orts, szóstaks, patagons, kreuzers, kopecks,” said the group. One of the most interesting finds was a gold Hamburg ducat from 1648, with the image of Madonna and Child. A piercing at the coin’s edge suggests it could have served as a medallion.

They plan to continue searching for more of Jaczewicz’s treasure. In the meantime, they have sent their finds to the Historical and Archaeological Museum in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski for analysis.

old gold coin

The gold Hamburg ducat. Photo: Świętokrzyskie Exploration Group


The museum’s research may help verify that the coins belonged to the mountain-dwelling conman. At the moment, tying the coins to Jaczewicz remains speculation. But both the group that found the coins and some historians think that this discovery proves there is truth behind the stories about Jaczewicz.

The legend says that the aristocrats eventually caught and imprisoned Jaczewicz, but he escaped before sentencing. He continued with his healing, claiming he also had the blessing of the Pope to carry out his work.

Then in 1712, he was captured again, convicted, and imprisoned indefinitely. Though he never returned to his mountain roost, Jaczewicz did not tell anyone where he had hidden his loot.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.