(accidentally posted a day early, hope you enjoy)
Gargoyles comes in many shapes and forms, from the evil looking to as cute as a kitty.
They are the guardians of buildings and the residents within. They serve a dual purpose to keep away evil spirits and they hold a spout to siphon water off the roof away from a building’s walls. There’s a bit of technicality in the term as any stone carving that does not carry water and has a face that resembles a creature is actually called a ‘grotesque’.
You can find gargoyles all over the world from medieval buildings to College campuses.
From my research the earliest reference to gargoyles dates to 600 A.D. Some historians say that the gargoyles upon churches represent sinister spirits which the church held victory over in the middle ages. The creatures frozen in stone serve as a reminder of the punishments faced by outlaws.
The Gargoyle gets his name from the French word gargouille meaning throat or gullet and gargariser meaning to gargle, the sound that gargoyles make when slurping water. The Notre Dame Cathedral in France features many of the little fiendish statues. There is a wide assortment of various demon, and animal looking creatures. This is just one angle of part of the cathedral.
The Italians call them doccione o gronda sporgente “Protruding gutter’ and the Germans wasserspeier “water spitter.
Egytians were one of the first (if not the first) civilizations to use gargoyles as part of their architecture, the only thing is all of theirs look like pouty, sad lions. The job of Egyptian gargoyles was much the same as regular ones, to hide ugly waterspouts from passersby, even those out of human site would be adorned with a gargoyle to please their gods. The Chrysler building in New York City’s gargoyles are stainless steel, and represent the Machine age (of the 1920’s). On the sixty first floor hangs the Plymouth hood ornament in it’s own gargoyle form.
Usually made of stone or terracotta, but get weathered and ruined over the years, those that have survived are likely made of limestone or marble.
I mentioned in my review for Annabelle that the ‘demon’ looked more like a gargoyle to me, well in the blink and you miss it shot I swear this is what it looked like
Gargoyles are all over the Harry Potter series! Re-read the books or watch the movies and count all the times you see or hear the Minister of Magic exclaim “Galloping gargoyles” about them. I believe back in the 1990’s there was a Disney cartoon called Gargoyles. In the 2013 move I, Frankenstein it seemed more about Gargoyles then on the scientist’s creation.
In my favorite book series The Other World series by Yasmine Galenorn the characters saved a baby gargoyle a while back. However it’s not the stone sort, the cat looking creature is from the woodland realms of Otherworld and the girls save it from being demon lunch.
I’m curious to know, if every animal grouping has a name like Kittens are a ‘kindle’ (yes like the e-reader) and Army of Ants.. would it be a ‘Grim’ of Gargoyles?
Did you know that a group of Owls is called a parliament?
The our local river, the Hudson River Museum years back had a Birds of Prey show. Here’s is the little owl. He was so cute. Sadly I missed the Horned owl which can be quite intimidating looking.