Treasure in the well

Pannonhalma Archabbey, well in the cloister
Pannonhalma Archabbey, well in the cloister
The well in the cloister of Pannonhalma Archabbey

There is an ancient abbey going back to the middle ages, there is a cloister in it with a well in the middle, going also back to hundreds of year with dozens of generations of Benedictine monks and a bit of secrecy… What is in the well? Is it just water? Well, we always have romantic imaginations that perhaps gold or silver or bones or all of this. And reality is usually much simpler and less romantic: there is just water, perhaps some old fragments of pottery usually interesting only for archaeologists.

In the case of Pannonhalma (a part of UNESCO’s World Heritage), this was a bit different. Actually, there was treasure, coins in the well – even if not so old ones.

Pannonhalma Archabbey sport field
Pannonhalma Archabbey sports field

The Archabbey has been a beloved target for tourist about since the 1920s. And tourists like to throw money in wells (think of Fontana Trevi in Rome) believing that this act will help them to return on some day. So tourists came and have been throwing coins into the well for decades. The well was deep and the Benedictine fathers wasn’t so much interested to collect them. Not so the boys they taught: some of them dared to dive into the well and found an amazing amount of money there. So they brought all to the surface and financed a two-week long excursion for the whole class. This all happened around 1990 and was told to me by one of the participants about twenty years ago. Though the money was spent, you can have a look at least at the well joining our Saint Martin pilgrimage.


Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey on St Martin's Hill
Pannonhalma Archabbey

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