The spire of St. Stanislaus parish church in Wschowa [Ssh-hova], Poland, was recently found to be hiding four separate time capsules planted there throughout three centuries, including one reportedly from the year 1726, unofficially the oldest known time capsule in existence.
The church had a large metal sphere at the top of its spire, and inside that sphere were four time capsules, with other time capsules added to the metal sphere.
Some of the boxes' contents were dated nearly 300 years old. The researchers had found a literal time capsule that had been placed at several different times, starting from when a reconstruction had repaired the church after a fire in the late 1600s.
The capsules appeared to have been opened before and then closed up and added to throughout the years.
Historians and researchers at the Museum of Wschowa opened the oldest capsule recently, I guess impatient for the 300-year anniversary coming up in three years, and found some really cool stuff inside.
The large box contained finely scripted, yet somewhat damaged, papers sealed with official wafers. Parcels from 1726, 1786, 1884, and 1914 were included in the larger box, as well as a pair of relics:
Two reliquaries, from 1884 and 1914, with descriptions indicated their contents to be of soil collected from the grave of St. John of Nepomuk...
The adjacent smaller iron container held some old coins from the 1800s wrapped in newspapers in two separate packages.
At some point the capsules and contents were damaged by a gunshot, although it's not clear from these stories when that might have taken place.
The letter on the right is dated 1726, the year the first capsule was placed, and the second is dated 1786 and was likely placed there when the capsule was first opened.
They also found coins from the varying time periods the capsule was hidden, as well as a newspaper from 1884, another time when the capsule was opened and added to.
These are really a piece of time. We are fortunate that these folks thought ahead.
However, something tells me the people who originally placed these items in the spire of a Polish church never would have imagined an American (which didn't really exist at the time) would be hearing about this discovery and writing about it in a format the whole world could see.
While the capsule is being replaced in the spire with a modern 2023 capsule, these historical relics have been removed from the capsule and will be kept at the town's local museum for all to see.
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