I’m reading Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle now, and it’s incredible so far!
I’m enjoying it so much that I thought I’d do a thematic TT this week on gargoyles. I think it would be fun to learn about gargoyles. =)
So here are 13 facts about gargoyles:
1. Gargoyles are carved stone statues; bizarre, ugly creatures that sit on buildings.
2. Originally, gargoyles only referred to grotesques that are waterspouts or drain-spouts, that serve as the modern equivalent of gutters, directing accumulated water away from the roofs and walls of the building.
3. Now the term gargoyle has expanded to also include grotesques that do nothing but look pretty. Um, I mean, ugly.
4. Some gargoyles now are also depicted as monks, and combinations of real animals, with monkey heads, human bodies, and eagle wings, for example.
5. The word gargoyle comes from the French word gargouille which means throat, and from the Latin root gar which means swallowing. The name is appropriate as gargoyles were originally waterspouts producing gurgling sounds.
6. At first, these water-spout devices, which appear in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman architecture, bore no resemblance to gargoyles as we know them now.
7. In ancient Greece, temple roof water spouts were typically modeled as lion's heads, with the water spouting from their mouths. In ancient Pompeii, gargoyles were commonly modeled after animals.
8. Gargoyles were also used for protection as their fierce and grotesque forms were believed to scare evil spirits.
9. Gargoyles were believed to have originated in medieval and gothic times as art, but their exact origins are not clear.
10. You can still find gargoyles on many churches and buildings. Modern gargoyles can be found at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and the famous French Notre Dame Cathedral has a rooftop area known as the Gallerie de Chimera filled with elaborately sculpted gargoyles.
11. The particular popularity of these creatures in France derives from a local legend in Rouen, where the Bishop was believed to have delivered the countryside from a terrifying creature called Gargouille.
12. The gargoyle has assumed an altered appearance for film and television, often appearing as human in basic form, with clawed hands and feet and bat wings.
13. These fictional gargoyles can generally use their wings to fly or glide, and are often depicted as having a rocky hide, or being capable of turning into stone in one way or another.
That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed these facts! Happy TT! =)