Gargoyles and Grotesques

A gargoyle on the Basilique du Sacré Coeur in Paris, France. Photo by Robert R Gigliotti via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Gargoyles – the amusing, fantastical, and sometimes creepy little stone creatures that often inhabit the drain spouts of medieval churches – are among my favorite things. Together with their similar-looking but non-functional cousins, the grotesques, gargoyles have long been a source of popular fascination. This is likely because of their quirky appearances, as well as the fact that they have consistently defied any generally-accepted interpretation. As a college student, I remember being told that attempting to find a convincing explanation for gargoyles, where so many academics have already failed, would be a fool’s errand. Naturally, I’ve been obsessed with the topic ever since. One day, I plan to write a book about gargoyles and their history from the Middle Ages through the present day . In the meantime, enjoy some gargoyle-related content.

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