sword in the rock

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The legendary Excalibur, the sword in the stone really exists and is located in Montesiepi Chapel, near the abbey of San Galgano in Chiusdino, in the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany.

San Galgano abbey

Although everyone knows the legend of King Arthur, the magician Merlin and stories of the Knights of the Round Table, just a few people know that in Italy a sword stuck into a rock really exists and is kept in a glass urn.

excalibur sword san galgano

The cartoon by Wolfgang Reitherman inspired by Terence Hanbury White’s novel, The Sword in the Stone, took place in England and Arthur became King of Britain after taking the Sword stuck in the stone, something that no one had ever managed to do.

A legend inspired in a true story

Galgano GuidottiA legend that could have been inspired by a true story: fifteen miles away from Siena among centuries-old green forests lies a small abbey, now in ruins. A few meters away in the church called “Rotonda de Montesiepi” a true Excalibur is preserved.

Over the last years several metallographic tests have been performed and confirmed the authenticity of the sword. This is a weapon of the twelfth century, so, in theory, could have been a source of inspiration for the book and cartoon film.
It all began in 1148, when in Chiusdino was born Galgano Guidotti, a dissolute and libertine knight who, after having a vision of the archangel Michael, became a believer and decided to totally change his life. The vocation urged him to live like a hermit and he celebrated the abandonment of the old habits of sinner by drawing his sword and stucking it into the stone on Christmas Day of 1180.

Every day Galgano Guidotti prayed in front of the sword of the rock as if it were in front of a cross and did it until his death by starvation. In 1185 Galgano Guidotti was proclaimed saint.

The sword in the Stone

The era of the legend of King Arthur and the story of Galgano Guidotti, more or less coincide, but there’s even more. One of the knights of the round table is called Galvano, a name that very much resembles that of Galgano.

In addition, the research on the sword carried out by the University of Pavia verified that the blade is located in the interior of the rock, as well as in the legend.

However, the investigators failed to confirm how Galgano Guidotti was able to stick the sword in the stone or if it could be extracted from it.

Perhaps that arduous task can only be carried out by a man worthy of becoming king: are you worthy?

sword in the stone