Considering it has been the cultural and political center of the Western world for centuries, Europe is home to quite a bit of historic treasure. With all of the history of wars and wealth changing hands that the continent has seen in its time, there is still a remarkable amount of hidden gold and lost relics being uncovered on European soil.
Below, we take a look at some of the biggest treasure-related stories that have swept across Europe this week.
A man who is a self-avowed treasure hunter was getting ready to use his metal detector on the beach when something in the water caught his eye. It turned out to be largest gold nugget that has ever been found in the United Kingdom!
Vincent Thurkettle's discovery weighed 97 grams, more than 3 troy ounces, making it nearly twice as heavy as the second-largest nugget that's ever been found in the U.K. Plus, that occurred more than two centuries ago! The nugget was speckled with what appear to be small rocks and shells.
It is believed that the nugget must have come from the shipwreck of the treasure-filled Royal Chart in 1859, which was known to have sunk just 40 meters away from where the nugget was found. It was actually discovered by Thurkettle in 2012, but he has only just now gone public with the story to keep hopeful treasure-seekers from flooding the area. He claims to have been a treasure hunter for 39 years—and he finally struck it big!
Ever since World War II, the question of what happened to the famous Amber Room (shown below) of Russia, housed in the Imperial Palace in St. Petersburg since the 18th century.
The Russians have since constructed a modern replica of the Amber Room, replete with all the same gilded surfaces and beautiful furniture, but one still wonders "What happened to an entire room?" It was stolen from the palace by the Nazis in 1941. Now, one experienced museum curator believes he's located the invaluable room hidden beneath the ground in Nazi-era bunkers.
According to the Express (U.K.), "The Amber Room was an ornate palace interior crafted out of amber, gems, and gold for the Tsar."
Another Nazi Treasure?
The potential discovery of the long-missing Amber Room may not be the only Nazi treasure popping up in the European news, either. A modern-day explorer has spent a quarter-century trying to locate the famous Stechovice treasure. It supposedly consists of the typical Nazi booty: rare art, old documents, jewelery, diamonds, and of course gold.
Hidden below the streets in tunnels in the Czech Republic, the Stechovice treasure (named for the Czech town) could also be related to the Amber Room. Nazis were notorious for digging secret underground tunnels all across the territories they controlled in central Europe.
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