Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne, Germany

The bones of the Magi have traded hands many times over history and have slowly made their way north. 

They were first found by Helena, mother of Constantine I, who was an avid collector of holy relics. She found many relics during her search (including an alleged portion of the cross) and was said to have discovered the grave of the Three Wise Men. She brought the remains back to Constantinople and gave them to Milanese Bishop Eustorgius in 314 who brought them back to Milan Italy in an ox cart.

In 1162, Milan was besieged and fell to Cologne Archbishop Rainald von Dassel, who took the relic as spoils of war before he was chased back to Germany.

The current gold box containing the remains was built between 1180 and 1225 by medieval goldsmith Nicholas of Verdun.

The Cologne cathedral was built to house the precious relics, and took over 600 years to build. On July 20, 1864, the gold box was opened and human remains and coins were found inside. It was re-sealed and has not been opened since.

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