Mythical French sword mysteriously disappears from stone

The sword known as Durandal, sometimes called the "Excalibur of France," has disappeared. According to legend, the blade was a gift from an angel to Roland, the great knight who served under Charlemagne. Its hilt, they say, contains a tooth of Saint Peter; the blood of Basil of Caesarea; a piece of the Virgin Mary's clothing; and the hair of Saint Denis.

Anticipating his death during the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, Roland tried and failed to destroy the blade. So in order to prevent it from being taken and used by the invading army, he chucked it across the French countryside. Durandal landed in a stone cliff some 30 feet off the ground in the town in the town of Rocamadour, where it has remained since the ninth century.

…until now. From La Dépêche (via Google Translate):

According to initial investigations, it was a theft, observed on Monday, June 22, in the sanctuary of the city of Rocamadour, in the Lot.

"We will miss Durandal. It has been part of Rocamadour for centuries, there is not a single guide who does not show it during their visit. Rocamadour feels stripped of a part of itself, even if it is a legend, the destinies of our village and this sword are linked", assures Dominique Lenfant, mayor of the commune.


It is so precious to the city that when the Cluny Museum wanted to exhibit it in 2011, a municipal councillor and a security guard accompanied its return trip between Lot and Paris.

An investigation is currently underway, though it's unclear if anyone has any leads as to who the hell scaled a cliff and yanked out a sword, but I assume they want to be the king of France.

Disappearance of a legend in Rocamadour: Durandal, the sword of the knight Roland, was stolen, an investigation is underway [Laetitia Bertoni / La Dépêche]