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Reliquary

A box, shrine, or casket used to keep or display a relic.* In the early Middle Ages the supernatural power of the unseen world was viewed as accessible to men in relics. Appropriately encased, they were carried by armies and noblemen and hidden in royal crowns and necklaces, which served as reliquaries. Charlemagne's throne, built to the specifications of Solomon's, was filled with cavities for the deposit of relics. Treaties were signed and oaths taken on reliquaries. St. Louis built Saint-Chapelle in Paris as a reliquary to house the crown of thorns purchased from Baldwin II of Constantinople after he used the item as collateral to secure a Venetian loan. Pilgrims were drawn to Canterbury, Compostela in Spain, Regensburg, Alt- �tting in Bavaria, and other places by reliquaries and their contents.