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

Durandal, a mythical sword that had been lodged in a rock wall in the French village of Rocamadour for the last 1,300 years, has suddenly disappeared, presumably stolen.

Durandal was often described as the French equivalent of the much more famous Excalibur, King Arthur’s legendary sword. Legend has it that an angel gave Durandal to the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who in turn entrusted it to his faithful knight, Roland. It is mentioned in the 11th-century poem The Song of Roland, which claims that its magical power came from containing the tooth of St Peter, the blood of St Basil, and the hair of St Denis. Roland is said to have tried to break his trusty sword after being wounded at the battle of Roncevaux Pass, to keep it from falling into the hands of the Saracens. However, Durandal was indestructible, so instead he hurled it towards the sky, and the sword landed in a giant rock, where it allegedly remained ever since. Until recently, anyway…

Photo: Patrick Clenet/Wikimedia Commons

No one seems to know what happened to the legendary sword Durandal. Despite being chained to a rock 32 feet above ground, the legendary sword simply disappeared one day, most likely stolen. It is a heavy blow for the French village whose fate was intertwined with the legendary sword. Now, everyone is hoping that the sword is retrieved so everything can go back to the way it was.

“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 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 hoping that their precious relic is returned to its rightful place, in the rock wall it was thrown at by Roland, either by the misguided thieves or the local authorities.

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