For The Love Of Gargoyles

We’re back! Back from two amazing weeks in France and England, visiting gardens and doing other stuff. And what better way to jump back into blogging with both feet than with gargoyles?

Notre Dame, Gargoyles
A gargoyle overlooks Paris from near the top of Notre Dame cathedral.

Judy has a thing about gargoyles. Not sure I understand it. I asked if her affection for gargoyles had any bearing on her choice of spouse. Her response: “No comment.”

On our only other trip to Paris, we did visit the Notre Dame cathedral, but we didn’t have time for her to climb to the top of one of the bell towers for some close-up face time with the gargoyles. She was intensely disappointed.

On this trip we did not make the same mistake, and Judy did make the climb – all 400 steps. I stayed on the ground in the square in front of the cathedral. Gargoyles are OK by me, but heights make me nervous.

So here are a few of her favorite gargoyles.

Notre Dame, Gargoyle


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Some gargoyles do serve a practical purpose in diverting rain water away from the cathedral.

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Little known fact: the gargoyles on the Notre Dame cathedral were not actually added until the 19th Century. Some critics consider them a kind of neo-Medieval kitsch. No one has asked the gargoyles what they think about it.

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In addition to gargoyles, there were some very nice views of Paris from the top of the bell tower.

Notre Dame Gargoyle



In addition to the creepy gargoyles, there are angels up there.

Notre Dame

Also some saints.

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When Judy got back down from her climb, she was looking weary and wobbly. Nevertheless she was very content at having made the effort. I helped her hobble to a nearby cafe where she could recover with the aid of food and good coffee.

Looking at all these pictures gives me an idea. Garden gnomes are so overdone, how about Garden Gargoyles? I could start a line of gargoyle replicas from different famous cathedrals as garden ornaments! What do you think?

Notre Dame, Gargoyles
“Gargoyles as garden ornaments? What a great idea!”

Next post: picnicking in Paris.

52 Comments on “For The Love Of Gargoyles

  1. Looking forward to reading about your adventures. We must have missed each other by only a few days in Kent. I left London for Rome yesterday and head home next week.

  2. Welcome back! I don’t think I’ve ever thought about gargoyles?!?! But that is a pretty funny question you asked Judy. Can’t wait to see your garden pictures. Hope you had an amazing time. I just love Europe.:)

  3. Sorry we didn’t manage to meet, we were still in Cornwall on Thursday, looking forward to your post and impressions of Sissinghurst, we were there on Sunday.

    • I figured it was something like that. We were still in London on Sunday. It was dang cold, but we walked around Westminster and rode a boat on the Thames.

  4. Some of them are quite cute, but others are simply grotesque! I wonder where the idea came from to make such weird figures… Good to see you back, and look forward to some more posts on your trip!

    • Thanks, it’s good to be back in touch with all my blogging friends. As to gargoyles, apparently they were meant to represent evil, but alternatively to scare evil creatures away from the church. The ones on Notre Dame, being made later, would seem to be an exercise in the stone carvers’ imaginations.

  5. I haven’t been to Paris in years. It was nice to walk down memory lane through your photos! I agree that gargoyles are creepy but at the same time fascinating. I would climb 400 stairs to see them 🙂

  6. I love these gargoyles and I too am a fan, just like Judy.

    I have two stone garden gargoyles…..I love your pics and it sounds like you had a fab time. Lovely to have you back.xxxx

    • Great to be back in touch, though I would have loved to make the vacation permanent. Where in the world did you get stone gargoyles fro your garden?

  7. Glad to read you both had a good trip Jason. I love gargoyles too! Many buildings here in Edinburgh are adorned with these creatures.
    Often available here in Architectural Salvage yards, some of them rather expensive!! As you can probably imagine.
    Looking forward to reading about your trip over to England too.

    • Thanks, Angie. I’ve never heard of architectural salvage yards, I’ll have to find out if there is an equivalent here. Who knows what they might have?

  8. Glad you had fun. It’s good Judy had a chance to examine the gargoyles up close this time. I think they’re interesting in situ but they don’t work for me as a garden ornament. Garden accessories are highly personal aren’t they? Welcome back. Susie

    • Yes, so it is always wise to withhold scathing remarks about garden ornaments because the person you are with may have the exact same thing.

  9. I love Paris! I wish I could click my heels together to go back. Since Judy loves gargoyles so much, you should come to DC to see the ones on the National Cathedral. They’re quite different from those on the Notre Dame!

  10. Beautiful views, Gargoyles are a bit creepy in my book, I would much prefer Angels and Saints. Gargoyles do impart a certain atmosphere though. Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip, 2 weeks went fast.

  11. Gargoyles scare me a little! Glad that you enjoyed your tours, I look forward to reading more about your adventures in due course.

  12. Great views and I’m pleased to hear Judy got up close with the gargoyles! I quite like them and wouldn’t object to them in the garden, in the right setting. Looking forward to hearing more from your travels 🙂

    • Hi Anna! Your comment makes wonder about what would be the right setting for a gargoyle. Perhaps on a wall or stand, placed in a hidden corner where they can give people a start.

  13. Welcome back! My daughter loved Paris, too. We’ll be heading to London soon to visit her. Any recommended “must dos”? Love the gargoyles, and Judy’s “no comment.” 😉

    • We really liked the Museum of London, and the British Museum is just incredible.The Albert Memorial may make you giggle, and there is a flower walk in Kensington Park that is really lovely.

  14. Welcome back! I’ve never been to Paris and am looking forward to more posts. I’m liking the gargoyles. I didn’t realize there were some many different characters. Wasn’t there an old movie about gargoyles coming to life? You should run with your idea of statues–very different!

  15. Jason sorry I am a bit late getting to your posts. It is a dream of mine to visit Paris as I studied French for 6 years. And Notre Dame…I think I would climb that bell tower as well even with my bum knee. For just the view and definitely for the gargoyles…I’d buy your garden gargoyles.

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