‘French Excalibur’ Disappears from Rock Wall It Had Been Stuck in for 1,300 Years

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.11 - 2024 10:15 AM CET

Photo: M6 Info on YouTube
Photo: M6 Info on YouTube
Durandal, a legendary sword lodged in a rock wall in Rocamadour, France for 1,300 years, has mysteriously vanished.

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Lodged in the rock wall in the French village of Rocamadour, the Durandal sword has long been a significant part of the area’s folklore.

The myth surrounding Durandal has often been compared to the legendary sword Excalibur of King Arthur. But where Excalibur was only a fragment of fiction,the Durandal sword is a real, tangible artifact that visitors can see for themselves.

Or it was, until it recently disappeared.

The Myth of Durandal

According to local legend, an angel bestowed Durandal upon the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who then entrusted it to his knight, Roland.

The 11th-century poem The Song of Roland describes Durandal's magical power, which is said to come from relics embedded in it: the tooth of St. Peter, the blood of St. Basil, and the hair of St. Denis.

When Roland was mortally wounded at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, he tried to destroy the sword to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

Finding it indestructible, he hurled it into the air, where it lodged into a rock at Rocamadour, where it had remained for over a thousand years.

Now the sword has vanished.

The Disappearance

Despite being secured by a heavy chain 32 feet (almost 10 meters) above ground, the legendary sword has vanished. Most suspect it has been stolen.

This has deeply affected the village of Rocamadour, which had a close historical and cultural connection to the sword.

“Rocamadour feels it’s been robbed of a part of itself, but even if it’s a legend, the destinies of our village and this sword are entwined,” Mayor Dominique Lenfant told the French newspaper La Dépêche.

“We’re going to miss Durandal. It’s been part of Rocamadour for centuries, and there’s not a guide who doesn’t point it out when he visits.”

Locals are now hopeful that Durandal will be returned, whether by the thieves or through the efforts of local authorities, to restore the village’s cultural heritage.