Mystery priest skull and hat discovered in Austria

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 28 Jul, 2016 Updated Thu 28 Jul 2016 11:15 CEST
image alt text

A priest carrying out renovation work on a church in Austria was surprised to discover a skull that could be up to 900 years old buried in a hidden wall cavity.


The skull - which was found adorned with a priest’s hat - is thought to belong to a priest who once worked in the church in Parndorf in Burgenland, although not much more is known about the finding.

The skull was found in painted tabernacle - a fixed, locked box sometimes found in Christian churches - that was discovered in the wall cavity.

Much of the church was built 300 years ago by baroque architect Lucas von Hildebrandt but parts of it are much older, including dating back to the 12th century.

It was in this section where the skull was found, meaning the find could be up to 900 years old.

According to the local priest who made the discovery Father Franz Borenich, the fact that the skull was wearing a biretta - a hat worn by Roman Catholic clergymen - could mean that he was high up in the church. Alternatively, he could have been some kind of patron saint.

Archaeologists will now study the skull to try and establish its age, with Father Borenich on the search for evidence of a revered priest who may have been buried on the site hundreds of years ago.



The Local 2016/07/28 11:15

Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also