The legend of the French treasures

Amongst the most widespread legends are the stories about hidden treasures. The treasures buried and drowned by Napoleon and his soldiers get mentioned perhaps most frequently. These legends have ignited people’s imagination and encouraged many men to search for the lost French gold for over two hundred years.

Upon their withdrawal to France, Napoleon’s army set foot in Kaunas on the 12th of December in 1812. Chased by Cossacks, the French hurriedly hid plundered war treasures in churches, buried them in fields, and broke ice and sank them in rivers.

The legend tells of a strongbox containing 800 thousand franks buried underneath the stone floor of one of the nine churches that stood in Kaunas at the time. The box was left behind by the French soldiers when they realised they would never be able to carry this wealth all the way to France.