Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gargoyles Unleashed

Today I want to talk about Gargoyles. I've always been fascinated by them and have few in my house.

Architecturaly, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building.  Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth.  Besides being used as water diverting fixtures, gargoyles are also made as free standing decoration figures and are said to protect homes from danger and harmful or evil spirits.

The term Gargoyle originates from the French gargouille, originally "throat" or "gullet" and similar words derived from the root gar, "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water.  It is also connected to the French verb gargariser, which means "to gargle".

A French legend alleges that St. Romanus (AD 631–641), the former chancellor of the Merovingian king Clotaire II who was made bishop of Rouen delivered the country around Rouen from a monster called Gargouille or Goji. La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with batlike wings, a long neck, and the ability to breathe fire from its mouth. There are multiple versions of the story, either that St. Romanus subdued the creature with a crucifix, or he captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer, a condemned man. In each, the monster is lead back to Rouen and burned, but its head and neck would not, due to being tempered by its own fire breath. The head was then mounted on the walls of the newly built church to scare off evil spirits, and used for protection.1

I have couple of Gargoyles sitting right in front of the main entrance.  They've been with me for many years now. 

Stone Gargoyle 1

Stone Gargoyle 2

 This little guy below I recently purchased during the Halloween sale.  He is absolutely adorable and is proudly sitting on my office desk, right beside my computer monitor.  Even though he is considered Halloween decoration to many, he is not going anywhere after Halloween season is over. 

I call him Cheeky

References:

1. Wikipedia

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