The holy sword of the thorn rock and the mystery of King Arthur

  The Abbey of San Galgano is located in the steppe area of ​​Tuscany, Italy. Its chapel houses a “Holy Sword”, which is said to be used by knights in the 12th century to pierce rocks. The “Legend of the Holy Sword” has been passed down locally. In the process of exploring the history of the “Legend of the Holy Sword” and the Abbey of San Galgano, another “legend” emerged-the excalibur owned by King Arthur who once ruled Italy Originated in Italy…the
  Tuscany region of northern Italy, home to the ancient capital Florence and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is Italy’s premier tourist attraction. Once you leave the ancient capital, you will see a beautiful and idyllic world with rolling hills.
  Drive south from Siena, the ancient capital of central Tuscany, for about an hour, and you will arrive at a rural town called Monteriggioni, where the “San Galgano Abbey” is located.
  Although this monastery is now close to ruins, it is not difficult to find that it was built in the same “Gothic architectural style” as Notre Dame Cathedral, and its appearance is still picturesque.
  The roof made of lead in the past has disappeared with the passing of the times. Entering the interior, the first thing you see from the entrance is the remains of the altar. Looking up, you can see that there are huge round windows on the wall, as well as a number of strangely shaped windows. This design is to make it easier for sunlight to enter the sacred altar. Inside the venue there is a “Montelligioni Chapel”. Its surroundings and interior are still well preserved, and it is still used as a chapel by local congregations. “Holy Relics” are also preserved here.
  The Convent of San Galgano was built around the 12th century, and the opportunity to build it stems from the death of a knight.
  In 1148, a knight named Guggano Guidotti was born in the small town of Chiusdino near Siena. Born into a wealthy family, he became a knight at a young age and fought everywhere.
  One day, the archangel Michael suddenly appeared in front of Gaucano. He warned Gaucano to stop fighting and go to become a hermit. Michael’s sudden appearance shocked Gorgano. At the same time, he was tired of his current life, so he chose to accept the admonition of the archangel and began his secluded life in a nearby cave.
  Faced with this tremendous change, Gorgano’s family and friends were very worried. His mother wanted her son to return to normal for the benefit of the family, so she found a beautiful fiancee for him and convinced her son to meet her. Gaugano reluctantly accepted his mother’s suggestion and rode to the location of the woman. But something incredible happened on the way. Gorgano suddenly fell off his horse, and his body gradually floated from the ground. At this time, Michael’s voice came from his ears. Michael ordered him to go to the “Monterigioni hills”.
  After reaching the Monteriggioni hills, Gaugano followed Michael’s voice and looked towards the hills. What he saw was the cylindrical monastery, and the surrounding Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the Ten The vision of the two apostles. Michael asked him to build a monastery like this illusion, and abandon all the desires of the world. However, because he had a promise with his mother, Gorgano raised an objection to the archangel. “This matter is as difficult as inserting a sword into a rock.” Gaugano said as he tapped the rock at his feet with his sword. The unthinkable happened again, the saber thrust directly into the rock like a knife stuck in butter. The hilt of the sword inserted straight into the stone looks like a cross at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, standing on a hill.
  Shocked by the power of the gods, Gorgano abandoned his sword and chose to return to the cave to practice again, until he passed away in 1185.
  After that, the story of Gaugano spread widely. He was regarded as a “saint” by later generations. People buried his body near the original “sword in stone” and built a monastery and chapel here. And these buildings are the same as those seen in his beautiful fantasy.
  This is the legend about the origin of the San Galgano Monastery. This period of history has been more than eight hundred years ago. The monastery and the chapel still stand on the hills of Monteriggioni, and Gaugano’s sword pierced into the rock is also placed in the glass display case in the chapel. .
  This legend itself has the style of Italy, a great historical country. However, the legend is after all a legend. Because of the age, for a long period of time, the locals also believed that whether it is the knight Gaugano or the legendary sword, it is nothing more than a story created in the Middle Ages.
  However, in 2001, scholars from the Department of Archaeology of the University of Pavia in Tuscany conducted a carbon test on the age of the sword while investigating the monastery. The results showed that the sword was indeed a 12th century artifact. Dr. Luis Canaccioli, who directed this “San Galgano Survey Project”, published the following findings: “This sword has a long history and has always been considered a fake created by man. But according to what we did in 2001 The investigation found that this was not the case. The material of the sword was not a modern synthetic product, but was indeed a 12th-century item. Even after conducting radar monitoring of the underground, it was discovered that there was a hollow 180 cm deep and 90 cm wide under the sword. “The
  discovery is far from this. In fact, there is another legend in the 12th century that a man who tried to draw his sword was bitten off by a wolf. During this investigation, the researchers dug up two hands in the walls of the monastery. After dating, it was found that they also came from the 12th century. This shows that the legend about this man is also very likely a historical fact.
  The doctor’s research team believes that through the gradual excavation of the rock and soil around the sword, there will be an opportunity to start exploring the underground cavity. But the investigation is not as simple as imagined. In any case, the sword is still stuck in the rock. It is very difficult to explore without destroying the status quo. Maybe something is really hidden below this?
  Regarding the legend of the Holy Sword of the Church of San Galgano, there is another saying that cannot be ignored, that is, this legend of the Holy Sword is closely related to another legend that is world-renowned. Speaking of “the sword inserted into the rock”, I am afraid that the first thing many people think of is the “Legend of King Arthur’s Holy Sword” in Britain.
  The legend of King Arthur was originally compiled on the basis of Welsh local folklore in ancient England, combined with various narrative poems and legends. In a nutshell, it is the various legends of the person named Arthur, the original ruler of the ancient British Isles, collectively referred to as the legend of King Arthur.
  There is no record of King Arthur in the official history, and it was only recorded as a legend in the 12th century, namely “The History of British Kings” by Jeffrey.
  In “The History of British Kings”, the sword used by Arthur is called the “Sword in the Stone”. It is said that this sword was inserted into a rock on the British Isles, and only the real “king” can pull it out. At the time, Arthur, who was only 15 years old, easily drew the “Sword in the Stone” and sat on the throne. And the world’s most famous “holy sword inserted into the rock”, isn’t it the one placed in the church of San Galgano?
  There are several reasons for this speculation. First of all, the book “History of British Kings” formed by the legend of King Arthur was compiled in the 12th century, which coincides with the death of the knight Gaugano and the establishment of the church.
  Secondly, recent studies have shown that this distinctive monastery and chapel built after Gaugano’s death was built by the “Cistercian” monastic order that originated in France.
  We can speculate that during this period, French monks set foot on this land and communicated with the living Gaugano. After Gaugano’s death, Cistercian monks built a monastery here to mourn Gaugano, and brought the legend of the holy sword back to France, and from there to England. This legend merged with the legend of King Arthur compiled at that time, resulting in a new legend of “Excalibur”.
  If the speculation is true, the legend of King Arthur with many puzzles will also have an answer.
  Across the distant time and space, the legendary sword of the king is connected with the holy knight. The mysterious void hidden under the Monteriggioni Chapel of the Monastery of San Galgano may solve even greater historical mysteries. We look forward to future investigation reports.