Have you seen mystical characters at top of Gothic cathedrals in and around paris? I always wondered what these creatures were, it seemed so out of place being placed at the top of a place which seems to be holy.It was some kind of pagan belief that had been carried on to the cathedrals, as one of the artist writes in his website.I did a quick search about them and here is what I came up with. A
- Often made from hard stones such as granite ,etc.(long lasting.?)
- They are endowed with magical and mystical appearance and demonic looks, created in the image of animals humans etc.
- Normally placed at the top of the cathedral, where they are used to drain rain water.The construction adds a pagan look to the cathedral.
- In mythological context ,Gargoyles are neither mammals, nor reptiles, nor birds. They are part of a biological class called gargates, presumably descended from the great reptiles of the Mesozoic Era or the late Paleozoic Era. The only other known species in this group is the gargoyle beasts, which were domesticated by gargoyles as companions millennia ago.
- The most prominent biological feature of gargoyles is that they turn to “stone” in the daytime.
- Folk history:The origin of gargoyles traces back to france.It alleges that in the 6th century, the town of Rouen was threatened by a dragon named Gargouille that arose out of the river Seine. Gargouille laid the lands around the town waste and devoured everyone in his path, until Archbishop Romanus defeated and slew him. He then consigned the dragon’s body to the flames, but Gargouille’s head and neck were too toughened by its fiery breath to be consumed. So the Archbishop had Gargouille’s head mounted upon the walls of the town as a commemoration of the dragon’s defeat.
- The legend of gargoyle have its wings spread to Maya, China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, ancient Egypt, and even ancient Greece and Rome.
Why are they there?
- No possible obvious reasons.But can be explained with respect to some assumptions
- They appeal to our imagination and the subconscious. They take human characteristics, exaggerate, change them, blend them with animal characteristics, so they can symbolize any aspect of our personalities. Humans are differentiated from the animals by our imagination, creativity, humor, and an appreciation of art. Gargoyles fit in that realm, and are part of what make us human. Artists can express humanity and emotion in a creative fashion by using distorted or fantastic forms.
- In Gothic churches they are there to ward off evil
- Some similatities with the weeping angels of Dr Who?
- Beware children at night!!!!
So next time you go to bed just dont remeber the gargoyle hanging down the cathedral and please dont combine the weeping angels and the gargoyle , its a nasty thing to do. Good night:)
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