Wall murals portraying Crusader knights and symbols of medieval military orders have been rediscovered in a Jerusalem hospital thanks to a burst water pipe and a storeroom reorganization.
These paintings were the works of a French count, Comte Marie Paul Amédée de Piellat, who believed himself to be a descendant of Crusaders.
The count was a frequent visitor to Jerusalem and had the Saint-Louis Hospice built between 1879 and 1896, naming it after St. Louis IX, a king of France and leader of the Seventh Crusade between A.D. 1248 and 1254.
During World War I, however, the hospital came under the control of Turkish forces, who painted over the designs with black paint.
The count returned to Jerusalem to restore his murals, but died in the hospital in 1925, his work undone.
A beautiful discovery
More recently, the nuns who run the hospital found some of the forgotten wall paintings while reorganizing storerooms in the building, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
A burst water pipe also stripped away modern paint and plaster, revealing more sections of the paintings.