What do gargoyles on buildings mean?
In architecture, and specifically in Gothic architecture, a gargoyle (/ˈɡɑːrɡɔɪl/) is a carved or formed grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between.
What buildings have gargoyles on them?
40 Gargoyles and Grotesques Around the World
- Oakland Cemetery – Atlanta, Georgia.
- San Juan de los Reyes Monastery – Toledo, Spain.
- Natural History Museum – London, England.
- Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France.
- Cologne Cathedral – Cologne, Germany.
- Cathedral of Quito – Quito, Ecuador.
Why are gargoyles on top of buildings?
The precise purpose of gargoyles was to act as a spout to convey water from the upper part of a building or roof gutter and away from the side of walls or foundations, thereby helping to prevent water from causing damage to masonry and mortar.
Do gargoyles protect buildings?
Other than providing interesting decoration for buildings, they contain spouts that direct water away from the sides of buildings. Like modern gutter systems you might see on houses or newer buildings, gargoyles prevent rainwater from running down stone walls, eroding the mortar that holds a building together.
Why did we stop putting gargoyles on buildings?
Why aren’t gargoyles used very much today? After the 1700s, gargoyles became much less common on buildings. That’s because modern drain pipes were developed, so gargoyles weren’t needed to help with the flow of rainwater.
What is the most famous gargoyle?
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris Perhaps the most well-known gargoyles in the world hover on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Technically known as grotesques (true gargoyles have waterspouts as mouths), these monstrous creatures glare ominously down on the City of Light.
What does it mean if you see a gargoyle?
Some think that the gargoyles’ angry faces were meant to scare away evil spirits and protect the building. Others think that scary gargoyles were placed on churches to remind people that there is evil in the world, so they should enter the church often and live a good life.