‘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…

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