Sancy and his legendary diamond in Grosbois

N. de HarlayN. de Harlay | ©ÖNB / Public domain

Nicolas de Harlay, baron de Sancy, raised the first manor at the end of the 16th century: a Renaissance dwelling, the current castle’s main building! Nicolas was completely devoted to the king and he wanted to prove it.

In middle of wars of Religion, he suggested to raise a Swiss big army, to restore peace across the Rhine. But war is an expensive thing! No problem, Harlay was very rich! He especially had a big diamond, le Sancy, who used to belong to the duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold.

From hand to hand, it ended in Harlay’s pocket and was named after him, the "Beau Sancy". He wanted to wage war, so he had to pawn this big diamond in Swiss, to get the army.

Harlay put a man in charge of bringing it in Switzerland, a reliable Swiss guy named Hermann, who wanted to come back home to retire. The diamond was sewed in his clothes.

But after 3 weeks, Harlay had no news from him. He started to panic. He sent his henchmen, who found Hermann near Dijon (Burgundy): the poor chap had died here, in an inn!

The inn-keeper gave them Harlay's clothes, saying the old man wanted to be buried under few ground, so his master could get his body and bury him in Switzerland. Oh… Herman was a wise guy! In fact, before dying, he swallowed the diamond…

But meanwhile, the king died, so the war became useless. Nicolas get his diamond back: later, duke of Buckingham owned it, and cardinal Mazarin bought it to put it among the Crown jewels...