6 Stops on the Hunt for the Holy Grail

The Holy Grail is supposedly the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper, on in some traditions, a cup used to catch his blood as He was crucified. It wasn't a sought-after relic until hundreds of years afterward, and may have been used as an incentive to get Christians to fight in the Crusades. And search for it they did, although the facts of that search have been muddled with legends and fictional tales of the quest. While the grail itself may not exist, the places that factor in the stories do. Pictured above is a candidate for the actual grail, in Valencia, Spain.

Kept in the golden Chapel of the Holy Grail and guarded behind glass, the Valencia Chalice doesn’t look like something from the first century. The holy part is specifically the cup at the top, carved from a chocolatey-red agate. (The base, handles, and jewels were added centuries later to add a medieval flare).

In this theory, the holy cup used at Christ’s Last Supper was taken by Saint Peter to Rome, and some time later by a Vatican soldier to Spain, where it landed in Valencia’s Gothic cathedral. This possible history is based less on literary tales and more on archaeological authenticity: The chalice was carbon-dated to the period between the third century BC and second century AD, and manufactured in the Middle East, making it possible it could have been in the possession of Jesus and his disciples.

Read about more places that have to do with the search for the Holy Grail at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Flickr user CucombreLibre)

Newest 4
Newest 4 Comments

If the cup is made of stone (and not even a carbonate), what was the carbon dating done on? A quick look around finds no details, and some stories give the dating in terms of design and not carbon dating.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm kidding, of course. But the Oak Island "reality" show is loaded with theories linking most of those to their island. Well, up until the "Al Capone" part, anyway.

Still not sure what happened to my term paper. Bermuda triangle? Dog ate it?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
IF there were a time machine I would choose to go back in time to when Jesus walked upon the earth. FACT! TRUTH! (now I am starting to sound like our 'so-called president') Help me!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The Holy Grail was taken by the Crusaders to Oak Island. FACT.
Also the French crown jewels, Ark of the Covenant, the Golden Menorah, pirate treasure, Al Capone's tomb, my lost high school term paper, and Jimmy Hoffa's body.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"6 Stops on the Hunt for the Holy Grail"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More