Secret passage and crypt found within a church

Conservation works at the St Jacob The Apostle Church, Warsaw, Poland, lead to a discovery of walled up stairs leading to a crypt containing a grave.

Opened passage in the wall (by Biuro stołecznego konserwatora zabytków)

The sealed staircase was found after workers have removed the plaster from one of the walls. Removing some of the bricks lead to the discovery of a staircase leading to an unused crypt of the church, which was hidden behind a sheet of metal. Within the crypt a cross made from whit bricks was made with a coffin plate of an individual named Ignacy Ossoliński.

Grave with a tomb plaque preserved (by Biuro stołecznego konserwatora zabytków)

It is believed that the grave belongs to an individual who died at the age of 5 in 1755. As the whole area where the church is located was owned by the Ossoliński family since early 18th century, it is believed that the church was meant to serve as a family church to the Ossolińskis. In 1720 renovation works were carried out within the building, including placing the coat of arms of the family in the flooring of the church. The researchers believe that only the remains of Ignacy Ossoliński were buried within the crypt. It also seems that the grave was initially discovered in 1978 during renovation works within the crypts but the place of deposition of the remains was unknown until now.

The wall with the sealed passage (by Biuro stołecznego konserwatora zabytków)

(after Biuro stołecznego konserwatora zabytków & TVN Warszawa)

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