Excalibur Sword Wedged in Rock for 1,300 Years Mysteriously Vanishes

By: May Man Published: Jul 04, 2024

An ancient French sword, wedged inside a rock 32 feet above the ground for 1,300 years, has mysteriously disappeared.

The Durandal, often compared to King Arthur’s legendary Excalibur, was reported missing from the clifftop village of Rocamadour on Monday.

Knight’s Sword

The sword, once belonging to Roland, a renowned knight in French literature.

Painting of Roland in battle with other soldiers

Source: Wikimedia

Roland was known for wielding the ‘indestructible’ blade and had become a symbol of the area.

Case of Theft

Authorities are treating the case as theft and have begun an investigation.

A photograph of an investigation taking place in an office


Authorities are perplexed by how the sword could have been stolen from its difficult-to-reach location near a sanctuary with limited access.

Not Your Average Sword

This small medieval sword, reputed to cut through giant boulders with a single strike, had been embedded in a wall and secured with a metal chain.

Building of where the Durandal sword was. The Durandal sword circled in top right corner.

Source: Patrick Clenet/Wikimedia

The loss has deeply affected the village.

Loss of a Tourist Attraction

Rocamadour’s mayor, Dominique Lenfant, expressed his disappointment.

Buildings and trees in Rocamadour

Source: Dynamosquito/Wikimedia

The sword was considered a key tourist attraction according to Lenfant.

Stolen Piece of History

“Rocamadour feels stripped of a part of itself,” he told La Depeche.

The Durandal Sword

Source: Wikimedia

“Even if it is a legend, the destinies of our village and this sword are linked”


Part of Rocamadour’s Identity

“We will miss Durandal.”

Tourist holding up a map

Source: Jcomp/Freepik

“It has been part of Rocamadour for centuries; there is not a single guide who does not show it during their visit.”



The sword is of high value.

Exterior of Cluny Museum

Source: Wikimedia

Mr. Lenfant stated that it was displayed at the Cluny Museum in Paris, which specializes in medieval artifacts.


Belongs to the State

While at the Cluny Museum, it was accompanied by a local councillor and a security guard.

The city discusses bolstering security in downtown Los Angeles in an effort to prevent future defacements.

Source: Tony Webster/Wikipedia Commons

Mr. Lenfant noted “Durandal is a public property that belongs to the state. This sword was embedded in the rock face at a shallow depth, very close to the chapel of the Black Virgin. It measures 80cm, so it is a small medieval sword that was forged to stun people or horses, not to kill them,” he explained.


Passed Down from an Angel

According to legend, Emperor Charlemagne received the sword from an angel and passed it to Roland.

A painting depicting an angel and a small child

Source: Wikimedia

Before his death at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, Roland tried to break Durandal on a rock to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.


The Story Behind It

The myth suggests that when he threw it into the air, it miraculously traveled hundreds of kilometers before embedding itself in the rock face of Rocamadour.

Buildings and trees in Racamadour

Source: Wikimedia

Located around 100 miles north of Toulouse in southern France, Rocamadour was named France’s favorite village in 2016.


Another Theft

In a similarly strange theft, a collection of rare 19th-century Russian books valued at over $500,000 was stolen from a library.

Some old, brown, wooden bookshelves that have old books covering every shelf.

Source: Roman Kraft/Unsplash

They were then substituted with fake copies.