Legendary Sword Durandal Disappears from French Cliff Face

A legendary chapter in French history appears to have been ripped out, with the disappearance of the Durandal sword. The ancient blade, nicknamed the “French Excalibur” for its connection to the hero Roland, vanished from its cliff-side resting place in the town of Rocamadour sometime between June 21st and 22nd, 2024.

Local authorities are befuddled by the theft. For over 1300 years, the supposedly indestructible sword had been lodged 32 feet above the ground, embedded in the rock face. It was also secured by chains, making its retrieval a near-impossible feat.

The mayor of Rocamadour, Dominique Lenfant, expressed his deep regret over the loss. “Durandal has been a part of Rocamadour’s identity for centuries,” Lenfant said in a statement. “Every tour guide pointed it out to visitors. It’s a huge part of our heritage missing now.”

Legends surrounding Durandal endow it with remarkable powers, including the ability to slice through stone with a single blow. The epic poem “The Song of Roland,” the oldest surviving work of French literature, recounts the tale of the sword being gifted to Charlemagne by an angel and entrusted to his most courageous knight, Roland.

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Facing defeat at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass, the legend continues, Roland attempted to destroy Durandal to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Unable to do so, he threw the sword into the air, where it miraculously lodged itself in the Rocamadour cliff face.

The disappearance of this iconic relic has left the town reeling. “It feels like a part of Rocamadour has been stolen,” Lenfant said. “Even if it’s a legend, the sword and our village have been intertwined for centuries.”

An investigation is underway, but authorities are at a loss to explain how the thieves managed to access and remove the sword from its high and secure position.