Durandal, the Legendary Sword of Roland, Known as the ‘French Excalibur’, Is Missing From Small Rocamadour Village, Feared Stolen

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After remaining 1300 years wedged into a 32-feet high rock in the pleasant little French village of Rocamadour, Durandal, the sword of fabled medieval Knight Roland has reportedly disappeared, and it’s presumed to have been stolen.

Durandal is the rough equivalent of Britain’s Excalibur, which mythical King Arthur  pulled from a rock to become King.

But who was it that did wrench Durandal from the stone is a mystery – a mystery that French gendarmerie will try to solve.

Telegraph reported:

“All the town knows is that one of its main tourist attractions has vanished. It is presumed stolen and an investigation has been launched.

Durandal was the sword of Roland, a legendary paladin (knight) and officer of Charlemagne in French epic literature. According to the legend, Durandal was indestructible, and the sharpest sword in all existence, capable of cutting through giant boulders with a single strike.”

Durandal is featured extensively in the medieval ‘Song of Roland’.

To give an idea of the symbolism involved, La Chanson de Roland is simply the oldest surviving masterpiece of French literature.

In it, the magical attributes of Roland’s sword are detailed.

Incredibly, just one manuscript of the Song of Roland in Old French has survived, held at a Library in Oxford, UK.

The sword that local folklore declares it’s Durandal was a major tourist site embedded into a cliff 10 meters high.

“Medieval “myth” has it that before it was given to Roland, Charlemagne received Durandal from an angel. Before his death at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, Roland is said to have tried in vain to break it on the rocks to prevent his enemies from seizing it. He finally threw it into the air to save it. Miraculously travelling hundreds of kilometers, it is said to have embedded itself in the rock face of Rocamadour.

Local mayor Dominique Lenfant said the town was devastated. ‘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, a French newspaper. ‘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’.”

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