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05th Jul 2024

‘Excalibur’ sword vanishes after being stuck in rock for 1,300 years

Ryan Price

Locals are stumped as to what has happened to the historic weapon.

France’s legendary ‘Excalibur’ sword has mysteriously vanished from the rock it had been wedged in for well over a century.

The mythical blade, which King Arthur famously pulled from stone to obtain the British throne, appears to have been stolen from the village of Rocamadour where it had been wedged and chained to a boulder 32ft off the ground for 1,300 years.

Known to locals as the Durandal sword, it has long been one of the remote area’s most renowned tourist attractions.

Local police have now launched an investigation, and the town’s mayor Dominique Lenfant has said that locals feel as though they have been stripped of a part of themselves. 

“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,” he told La Dépêche.

“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.”

According to legend, the sword could not be broken and was able to slice through boulders with one swoop due to it being the sharpest blade in existence. 

A myth says it was first given to Emperor Charlemagne by an angel before it was wielded by his nephew Roland, a legendary knight.

An illustration from Histoire des Francais by Theophile Lavallee. (Photo by Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis via Getty Images)

Durandal is mentioned in 11th century poem The Song of Roland. In the epic, it tells of the sword’s magical powers and said it contained one tooth of St Peter, the blood of St Basil, and the hair of St Denis.  

Roland is said to have tried to break the sword on a rock before his death at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass to stop it from getting in the hands of the army of Saracens he had valiantly fought.

But he ending up throwing it into a valley where it miraculously flew for miles and ended up getting embedded into the Rocamadour’s cliff, where it has remained until today’s mystery disappearance.

Police are trying to work out how someone could have stolen the ancient artefact, considering it was wedged ten metres up on a cliffside.

Rocamadour was voted France’s favourite village in 2016 and is also famed for its eponymous goat’s cheese.

We’re not so sure that goats cheese is as strong a tourist attraction when compared to a mythical wedged sword, so it’s likely the people of Rocamadour will want their prized possession found and reunited with it’s rock as soon as possible.

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