Showing posts with label Gargoyles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gargoyles. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I've always been fascinated with Gargoyles. They have been depicted in so many way
thought the centuries. So I thought I would do a post on the true history/legend and Myth of the
Gargoyles. First what is a Gargoyle? Well it is many things to different cultures and countries.
So a Gargoyle is basically a carved stone Grotesque, it might have a spout design to convey a water
design on a roof of an building or church. Also it could also be away from the side of a building thereby
preventing rainwater from running down on the masonry walls of either an famous building or Cathedral churches. So then the eroding that might happen in the mortar between wont happen.
The Architects of the buildings or Cathedral churches often use
multiple Gargoyles on the building to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to a minimize of the potential damage from huge
rainstorms. This of course will also depend on the region, culture and country too! This would also included the legends and myths that they decide to put on the buildings or Cathedral Churches too. You may not know this but, when an Gargoyle is carved out and put on an building a trough is cut in the back of each and ever one of the Gargoyles so that the rainwater will typically exits through the opening of their mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because of the length of the gargoyle will determine how far the water is thrown from the wall on the building it is attached too.
Legend of the La Gagouille-
There was an French legend that sprang up around the name of St. Romanus in the year 631-641AD. The
A La Gagouille of France
former Chancellor of the Merovingian King of Clotaire II who was then made the Bishop of Rouen. The Chancellor who was then made the Bishop of Rouen could relate how he was delivered to his country of
Many La Gagouilles on a
Cathedral Churches
Rouen from a monster called Gargouille or Goji. The La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with batlike wings and a long neck, with the ability to breathe fire from its mouth. Now from what I understand there are multiple versions of this story of the La Gargouille Dragon Creature!
These were either that of St. Romanus subdued the creature with a Crucifix or he had captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer - which was a condemned man and then burned to death, but its head and neck would not burn due to being tempered by its own fire breathe.  So they would chop off the head and then mount it on the walls of the newly built Church's to scare off evil spirits and used them for extra protection. Like the image that I have given for you on the church. I
couldn't find who was the condemned man, but I did discover that in each version the Creature/Monster is
led back in commemoration of St. Romain, the Archbishops of Rouen were granted the right to set a
prisoner free on the day that the reliquary of the saint was carried in procession.
Gargoyle of Notre Dame Cathedral Church
Notre Dame Cathedral has sat at the heart of Paris, France, for centuries, and during all those long years of history, its gargoyles have stood watch with stony faces both strange and frightening. The gargoyles' place in architectural history is as old as the Cathedral itself. In fact, Notre Dame's Gothic gargoyles come from a lineage going back thousands of years. Read on to learn more about these grotesque creatures of stone.
Gargoyle looking over the
City of Pairs on his
 Church the Cathedral
of Notre Dame
Commonly carved of granite, a gargoyle is a statue built with a drain in its mouth. Often representing mythological creatures or demons, they are mounted to the sides of buildings, at the ends of gutters. In this way, they channel water away from the building's foundation.A gargoyle is erected specifically at the end of a gutter. It serves to drain water away from a building. Other stone carvings of monstrous faces and weird creatures are also found among the gargoyles, but have no function other than decoration. These purely ornamental statues are called "grotesques," or sometimes "chimeras." The more I research about the Gargoyles the more it brought me
back to the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame. Which I found to be very interesting. So I decided to find out more on this about the Gargoyles of  Notre Dame.
The Gargoyles of Notre Dame- The more I looked, I wondered why there was these monster like half-man and half-beast on a beautiful Cathedral Church? These demon looking creatures are all carved out of stone. They are one of many eerie stone figures that adorn the gutters of the huge beautiful Cathedral Church of Notre Dame in Paris. The reason? Well the first thing is, Gargoyle come from a Latin word, which meaning gullet or drain. And all those creatures up there are basically drainpipes. Each grotesque & eerie Gargoyle has a passageway inside them that carries rainwater from the roof and out through the mouths of the Gargoyles. And if you look either in France or in the image they are on the very top of the Cathedral's
towers the over see the beautiful city of France. Just like they the Gargoyles are doing what they are suppose  to do protect the City and the Grand Church of Notre Dame!
The history of Notre Dame- The Church in fact replaced a Roman Catholic Church in 528BC called the
The Cathedral Notre Dame Church of Paris
Catherdral of St. Etienne which occupied the same site. Some have said or claimed that there were actually two churches standing on the site, one dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the other dedicated to St. Stephen.
From what I understood about this Cathedral it is considered a Gothic perfection that is located in the heart or center of Paris (on the Site of the island of the Seine River)
The building was started in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. And Pope Alexander the III had the honor of laying the foundation of stone. On completion of the choir in 1183work was begun on the nave and finally completed around the year 1200.  What I found, throughout the many centuries there have been many transformations that have taken place on in the Towers and the transept crossing too. It was said that in the mid-13th century the interior of the great Cathedral was transformed/Plus there were Kings and Queens once crowned in the magnificence tempe in the late 1700's. Yet during the French Revolution many of the
The Front door of the
Cathedral of Norte Dame
Gargoyles on the Towers of the Catheral 
Cathedral treasures were destroyed or looted. The grand bells(of Gold) manged to escape from being melted down and the inside of the church at the time of war was used as a storehouse for food and other items. After the French Revolution the great church needed much repair. So a large restoration program begun, but in  1871, the
cathedral was nearly burned by the Commands but it managed to survive. Its seems that the Grand Cathedral has been guarded by the weird and scary at time stone Gargoyles for more that six hundred years now. Some still believe that the Gargoyles are still protecting the Grand Church by frighten away evil spirits with their monstrous faces that are all over the towers high up on the church.
One of the Remaining
Marble Lion Head Gargoyles
on the Temple of Zeus
In Ancient Egyptian, the Gargoyles were shown with little variation. This was typically in the form of a lions head that would have water spouting from it. Also seen on Greek Temples as well. These would be carved
Temple of Zeus
or modelled in marble or even terracotta. An great example of this would be the 39 remaining lion-headed water spouts on the Temple of Zeus. It is said that there were originally 102 of the lion-headed water spouts on the Temple of Zeus Gargoyles if you will, but due to the heavy weight being crafted from pure marble, many have snapped off and had to be
Temple of Zeus in its
Grand Days!
replace. Although not all could replace to the original 102 lion-headed water spouts on the Temple of Zeus.
Gargoyle were generally viewed in two ways by the church throughout history.
The primary use was to convey the concept of evil through the form of the Gargoyle, which
was especially useful in sending a stark message to the common folk, mostly of whom were illiterate.
The Gruesome Gargoyles also are said to scare evil spirits away from the church, this of course reassured the congregants that Evil was kept outside of the church's walls.
A Grand Gargoyle 
I also discovered that the Gargoyles have been around for decades. It is also believed that the Gargoyles
were the first created during the 11th and 13th centuries. The original purposes of these mostly gruesome and frighting creatures was for water spouts. And as decorative Grotesques carved Creatures mostly of Marble atop of spiritual buildings such as all Cathedrals. Many of the Gargoyles and Grotesques are of Celtic and Pagan inspiration. Yet if you have notice over the years Gargoyles have become so much more
popular in both adorning either Church's or even so very well-known skyscrapers around the world in many different countries. They also have become much more poplar in Heine site with the movie director's in depicting them in many different ways. I couldn't tell you how many different Gargoyle syfi-movies I have seen..
From what I understand there have been many theories and ideas as to what the purpose
of these Creatures the Gargoyles sever. Some people believe the Gargoyles and their grotesques designed was to look frightening and intimidating so they would ward off evil spirits. There was another theory that
the gargoyles and their grotesques were created to placate pagan gods and local deities. What I mean by this is people believed that if the pagan gods and local deities saw the gargoyles and grotesqes then they would like that buliding more thatn another - perhaps one with no gargoyles nor grotesques would of help it grow and prosper - one will never know? There is another theory - that is that the gargoyles and grotesques are a symbol of the devil and hell and that they are atop of the grand cathedrals to remind the church members that if the stray away from God, then they will become sinner. My opioion is that the last idea is a little far fetched, and that the Gargoyles and grotesques were put on the Grand Catherdratls and Even Great Zeus himself his Temple to ward of evil spitirs and to protect all who enters the Catherdratl Church or back in the day of Zeus Temple too to protect his people too. 
Well I hope you found this to be interesting as I found it to be
my dear friends and followes.

 I love you all so very much! 
Your Wendy 

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