Long-lost burial place of 15th century King Jan I Olbracht found

The team came across the extraordinary find lying below the floor during restoration work on the Chapel of King Jan I Olbracht in Wawel Cathedral. Społeczny Komitet Odnowy Zabytków Krakowa/Public domain

Archaeologists believe they have found the long-lost burial place of 15th century monarch, King Jan I Olbracht.

The team came across the extraordinary find lying below the floor during restoration work on the Chapel of King Jan I Olbracht in Wawel Cathedral.

Although it was known that King Olbracht had been buried in Wawel Cathedral, the exact location had until now remained a mystery, believed only to have been under the floor somewhere in the middle of the chapel.Public domain

Although it was known that King Olbracht had been buried in Wawel Cathedral, the exact location had until now remained a mystery, believed only to have been under the floor somewhere in the middle of the chapel.

A monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty, King Jan I Olbracht, was the son of Casimir IV Jagiellon and Elisabeth of Austria and ruled as King of Poland between 1492 and his death in 1501.

Lead archaeologist Tomasz Wagner said: “It turns out that the vaulted burial niche was hidden for over 500 years at the side of the building, next to the south wall.”Społeczny Komitet Odnowy Zabytków Krakowa

Lead archaeologist Tomasz Wagner said: “It turns out that the vaulted burial niche was hidden for over 500 years at the side of the building, next to the south wall.

“And that’s not the end of the sensational discoveries. In the grave’s vault, we found a small opening, most likely the effect of damage to the construction by artisans working on the chapel’s baroque altar.

A monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty, King Jan I Olbracht, was the son of Casimir IV Jagiellon and Elisabeth of Austria and ruled as King of Poland between 1492 and his death in 1501.Public domain

“Through the opening, can be seen a small fragment of the interior of the grave, and inside it, wooden elements buried under rubble and dust (perhaps remnants of the formwork)”.

With the permission of the conservator, the opening in the vault will be used to conduct an endoscopic analysis of the interior, which will confirm whether the remains found are those of King Olbracht.