The Lost Treasure of France by Noel Richards

The pirate treasure of Butin Nageon de L'Estany lies buried in a cave upstream from the La Chaux stream near Mahebourg on the Ile de France in Mauritius and up the eastward cliff. It consists of three iron casks and large jars filled with gold doubloons and bullion and a casket crammed full of diamonds. 1,500,000 gold pounds lie buried, "in the town residence of the Marquis of Chambray in the Rue du Regard in Paris" and cached in . A chest of Spanish-doubloons remains hidden on the island of Sequai, at Nevilly-sur-Seine. Thousands have been spent by treasure hunters trying to locate this cache, all without success. Caches of coins are buried on the one-time grounds of Napoleon's chateau at Meudon, now partially occupied by the L'Observatoire de Meudon. Some of these have been found.

 

During the 1793 Revolution, a fabulous fortune in gold bars from wine holdings of the prosperous convent in the Montmartre District of Paris were secretly buried in a treasure room constructed deep in the earth somewhere in an old vineyard that once belonged to the convent that has never been recovered. The cache could be under the sidewalks, on the side of the Moulin de la Galler or cobblestones. The treasure of the Chateau de Pantin was hidden in a series of empty earthenware vessels found under the flooring of the rustic ballroom in the park. The empty vessels once held jewels and gold, for they were stamped with the armorial markings of the Orleans family.

At Belleville is said to lie hidden the military chest buried by Marmont, Marshall of France, and Duc de Raguse, when he delivered Paris into the hands of the Allies. A divining rod user from Paris claims that a hoard of treasure was buried in the foundations of the old abbey of St. Denis near Paris in 1793. In the vaults of this abbey are the tombs at the old kings of France, sacked and pillaged during the French Revolution. Legends tell of a vast hoard of French treasure buried beneath the pavement of St. Denis by the kings of France. On the southwest of the Ile de Franee near the bay of Tamarin stands a stone engraved in Chinese lettering, "13,800 ounces of gold, silver fine; Here you'll find a concubine, I leave you Monsieur, to devine, without claiming from you what is mine. A small wooden chest about 2 feet in length and filled to the brim with sparkling diamonds, blood-red rubies scintillating emeralds and other precious stones that belonged to wealthy aristocrats and the Catholic Church was hidden during the Revolution.

The chest was taken to the underground sewer system a short distance from the Notre Dame Cathedral and moved to a point where the hiders loosened one of the granite blocks and removed the earth from behind it so the chest could fit snugly into the opening. The task took three nights. With a hammer and chisel, with the stone back in place, a small cross barely an inch high was made in the left-hand corner of the block. The hiders of the treasure were arrested and beheaded shortly thereafter. The cache still remains hidden in the sewers of Paris, somewhere in the vicinity of the Notre Dame Cathedral. Legends tell that when Napoleon hurriedly departed from the Tuileries to fight at Waterloo, he ordered that a great chest of treasure should be hidden in the palace gardens and that from time to time, gold pieces and silver crowns have turned up under the spades of the gardeners. A fabulous treasure lies buried in the Louvre, secreted in 1789 by Louis XVI. War treasures by the hundreds, possibly thousands, exist in the cellars of Paris, abandoned there in 1940 by the Jews or in 1945 by collaborators before they left, the former for the death camps and the latter for a voyage of no return. Twelve gold figures of the Apostles were removed from the Sainte Chapelle in Paris during the Revolution and buried, but the site of the burial is unknown. Those who knew the secret no doubt perished under the knife of the guillotine. There are rumors that during the war between France and Spain in the 16th century, great treasures were hidden in the region around St. Quentin.

As the German armies advanced in 1914, the mass exodus of Belgians and French towards the Seine and the Loile, some 2- to 4,000,000 individual treasures were hidden in the Walloon area, in Flanders, in the Artors and in Picardy. In the face of war, millions of people fled with their wealth, but only after having carefully buried or walled up such objects that were risky or cumbersome to carry with them in their flight. Plate and heavy articles of bronze, pewter, brass, silver, objects d'art, paintings of old masters, gold ingots and even coins. Entire families were wiped out at Amiens or on the roads by the Somme, and thousands of treasure caches were never recovered. The cellar of Madame Van E. of Boissyle-Chatel in Seine-et-Marne contains a mysterious cache of treasure guarded by eerie happenings. The site is at Rebais, 7 kilometers from Fontenelle. The treasures of the "Maidens of Verdun," buried in 1794, consist of: Anne Watrin's cache of 10,000 francs in the stables of her home; Suzanne and Gabrielle Henry's cache of 5,000 francs in their garden. In the final will and testament made by Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Helena, there is a mention of gold and jewels in a hiding place at Malmaison. The treasure of King Stanislaus of Poland is said to lie hidden in the hillside, just within the gates of Nancy. The king is said to have cached much treasure here.

A cache of treasure is said to be buried in the hill at Koepfle in the Bas-Rhin. A castle which was burned down by raiders from Mulhouse, used to stand on the site now occupied by the Biszmuhl Hill. An underground passage may well link the old mill to the hillside. In 1917, the Belgian ship Elizabethville was sunk while passing to the west of Belle Island by a torpedo. It carried a treasure cargo worth $2,500,000 and consisting of ivory and a packet of 13,000 carats of uncut diamonds. About $500,000 of this treasure has been salvaged by divers to date. In 1793, Pierre Prosper de Boisy, knight and marquis of Landebaudiere, put all of his valuables of gold, silver, plate and jewels into an iron-bound chest and, aided by his servant, loaded the chest onto a cart and concealed it on one of his dependent farms. Both were shot in 1794 by the 'Infernals' in the Place de Noirmoutier.

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To be continued...

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