The Lost Treasure of France by Noel Richards

The treasure remains intact even though the chateau of Landebaudiere and its' dependencies have been sold. From the small town of Fontaines near Fontenay-le-Comte, in 1793, the proprietors of the manor hid their gold and silver money near the old dove-cot. The manor was set afire by the "Infernal Columbus" and the treasure was never found. The 1793 Revolutionary cache secreted by Henir Camille de Colmont front the Chalonnes region, consisting of 500 or 600 gold louis, is believed hidden. An emerald as large as a human heart is buried in the chateau of Malicorne in Sarthe. The treasure of the convent of the Ursulines of Le Mans, consisting of five wooden chests filled with gold and silver church reliquaries, chalices, candlesticks, crucifixes, gold coins and six franc pieces, was secreted in the underground passageways of the walls of the Clos de Gazonfiere or the close adjacent to the Ursuline Convent. The convent was demolished in the l9th century and replaced by the Tascher gardens. The cache is valued at 4- or 5,000,000 francs. Today, the partially-blocked tunnel is situated under the Place de l'Etoile between the Rue des Arenes and the Rue des Ursulines. Traces of it can be seen in the cellars of the Bank of France and under the Rue Albert Maignan, the Rue Gougeard and the Rue des Ursulines. 18389. The 1793 treasure of Madame du Barry, hidden in her castle in the Parc de Sceaux consisting of the countess's fairest jewels and a coffer of gold coins lies secreted at Luciennes. The village of Gourdon, today not far from Chalon-sur-Saone, Department of Saone-et-Loire, is built on a hillock the name of which is Celtic. In the dim ages, a monastery stood here and long-stanging tradition says that a rich treasure was hidden somewhere near the church The magnificent, solid gold statue of Christ, belonging to the lord of the manor Girard de Beaurepaire, is still hidden in the underground passage connecting the chateau with the parish church. In the forest of Seillon, near Bourg, is a rich cache of jewels dating from 1793 when a nearby monastery of Chartreux monks was supressed and its residents forced to disperse.

One of the monks returned to his family in Bresse and on his deathbed disclosed to a woman that he had been the treasurer of the monastery and had buried the jewels in a hidden spot in the Seillon Forest. Just before she died in 1858 the woman imparted the monk's secret to a nephew who, with the aid of the local authorities, obtained the permission of the French government to search the forest. No report of success was ever made. In 1789, at the beginning of the revolution in France, a certain Conte de St. Paul fled abroad to the West Indies from his home in La Vendee and acquired during 30 years in this new land a fortune of more than $3,000,000. In 1820, having resolved to return to his native France to maintain his relatives at court as befitted their station, he chartered the French vessel, Le Jeune Henri for the journey and, into a strong room aboard her constructed for the purpose, stored his cases of gold ingots and a large safe containing his coin and gems. The vessel sailed from Saint-Pierre Martinique in the French West Indies and after an uneventful passage ran into a great storm and was wrecked a month later within sight of her goal, on the rocks off Oleron Island. The Conte de St. Paul was spared, but his fortune went down with the ship. Several attempts have been made to salvage this treasure, but no part of it has ever been recovered as far as is known. The Almiranta carrying several chests of money sank off the mouth of the Gironde River in 1593. At least 71 individual treasure caches were hidden in the walls and underground passageways of the Abbey of Saint Charroux in the Vienne Department before it was pillaged and burned to the ground in 1569 by the monks, all who were killed. One of these caches was found by a stone mason in one of the arches in the cloister in April of 1856 consisting of four priceless reliquaries made of silver and gold adorned with precious gems and pearls, and which contained relics of the Virgin and other saints. One of the reliquaries contained a 3-leaved medallion in which was a gold box with the words engraved, Hic Caro Et Sanguis Christi Continetur - Herein are contained the flesh and blood of Christ. It is public knowledge that several families living in Charroux in houses built over the ruins of the church found treasures in the years between 1930 and 1950

The monks of the Abbey of Faize left at the time of the Revolution with their relics and treasures, going through a tunnel which emerged at Lussac. But when they came out again into the daylight, their hands were empty and the tunnel filled with water. It has remained flooded ever since, and the treasure has never been recovered. Purses and caskets full of gold and silver, precious goblets and silver tableware were carefully packed into a large barrel cased in iron and with great precaution, transported by night in 1793 to a place unknown between the Chateau de la Boucherie near Les Landes-Genusson and the mill of the Landes and buried. It was never recovered. Wealthy aristocrat Monsieur de Lamboulas buried "a whole ox-hide" full of gold and silver coins in the grounds of his estate, "in the embankment of the stream which runs close to the castle at the foot of a tall willow." The site is located in the plain of Luc in the Moissac region. He died in exile without recovering the treasure.

A large treasure of gold and silver bullion was secreted in 1938 somewhere at Saint-Cyprien by the Spanish Republicans fleeing to France under pressure from the victorious Nationalist army. The large gold and silver bullion (# 111) treasure could be secreted somewhere in the Pyrenees. Somewhere on the lands of an ancient abbey a little north of the road from Macon and Cluny to Blanzy in the town of Gourdon in the Department of Lot, is a rich treasure of gem-encrusted vessels, chasubles, rubies, emeralds and gold, buried by the resident monks to keep them from falling into the hands of the raiding Norse pirates. The convent was sacked and pillaged by the Northmen, barbarians who hated nuns and monks worse than poison. The immense hoard dates back to the reign of Clovis, King of the Franks (511 A.D.) and there is an inventory at Gourdon of the hidden treasures. The custodian of this vast hoard, who had buried all the plate and jewels of all the religious houses under the same abbot, was murdered as he was trying to escape. The treasure has been one of the most elusive of all in France. During the 1840s the cemetery of the monastery was excavated almost incessantly without success, but one evening in 1845, a peasant girl, driving cows home from pasture, took refuge from a rain storm in a pit made by workers repairing the road. Some of the earth of the sand bank caved in and out tumbled a salver, a paten and a flagon, all of pure gold and studded with emeralds and rubies. As far as is known, the bulk of this long-lost treasure still remains to be found. A full cowhide of gold coins belonging to the lords of Mirandol is buried somewhere in their haunted chateau at Lot. The 1626 Spanish Armada was wrecked against the beach at St. Jean de Luz. The warship San Cristobal, the Almiranta and two treasure galleons, the San Juan and the San Jose were lost in the disaster with 2,000 lives lost. Scattered around the remains of the two treasure galleons lies $1,000,000 in unrecovered gold and silver under several feet of sand. The Teetusages joined with Brennus in a raid on Delphi when they brought back loot and plunder to the Cevennes country. On the way back, a plague attacked the bandits who, under advice of the Augers, cast their treasures into a lake to rout the Murrain. When the Romans came, they found 15,000 taIents of gold and silver bullion hidden in the chapeIs and sacred lakes of the Gauls. The location is near modern

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To be continued...

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