The Gargoyle in France

Posted on October 3, 2009
Gargoyle

Gargoyle

The Gargoyle often makes his perch On a cathedral or church where mid ecclesiastic style He smiles an early gothic smile ~ Oliver Herford.

These peculiar race of creatures which inhabit many places in France dating to 600 B.C. The purpose of a gargoyle was to drain water from a building. The word comes from the French ” gargouille” meaning “throat or pipe”. The statues have migrated away from churches and can be found on other buildings.

In medieval times people had a powerful belief in God. The cathedral was a “sermon in stone” which could be “read” by an illiterate population. Some gargoyles are illustrating Bible stories, from Eve’s first reach for the apple, to the images of eternal damnation. Not all were for religious instruction, many are simply grotesque, they were made so to scare off evil spirits and that’s why they were put on buildings.

If you have seen gargoyles you will notice a recurring theme of European paganism.

These photos were taken at the Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France.

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Gargoyle at Palais de Jacques Coeur in Bourges France

Photos and story by Karen Morfu, Copyright 2009




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Comments

19 Responses to “The Gargoyle in France”
  1. Jamie says:

    Very nice article, I often wondered where the term gargoyle originated.. I took a trip to chicago with an ex boyfriend and noticed gargoyles on many buildings.. I can’t remember which particular building but it had full bodied gargoyles, one on each of the four corners of the building.. sooo awesome ;)

  2. Karen M. says:

    Thank-you. There is also a big cathederal here called St. Etienne, with them all over and also pictures of headless people, representing when the catholics cut off the protestants heads!

  3. Verna says:

    Karen, the Gargoyle’s you pictured in France are VERY interesting, I can see where the water has let mold & moss grow, I wonder WHAT relm such life form is from. The Evil side or Gods world. I have a neighbor that hasGargoyles across the front of Her house, there must be a story there, maybe I’ll have time to investigate. If there is an interesting story with Her I’ll get back with it. Do you think there EVER was such a REAL CREATURE as a Gargoyle?

  4. Bonnie says:

    Interesting article and beartiful pictures. Thank you.

  5. Karen M. says:

    Verna, I’m not sure if they were ever real, but it does leave the imagination open as to why they exsit, surely it could be possible as they were made to scare off evil spirits. I think since they were first put on chuches, that they are associated with God, I could be wrong though!

  6. eyepriestess says:

    Hey Karen darling, as usual whatever you do is absolutely fab and those pics are!!

    I’m going to be completely honest here, i thought gargoyles was another word for demons!

    love the article ;)

  7. Karen M. says:

    Patsy, you are too great thanks and you too are absolutely fabs!

  8. eyepriestess says:

    Eddie darling, they aren’t demons after all, they are just groteque men thingy’s like you said… he he (Sorry CT! Not you though!)

  9. Karen M. says:

    Oh Patsy , LOL you might be right!

  10. trolldoll1681 says:

    thanks for letting know what there original use is, great pictures!

  11. Karen M. says:

    Thank you, if you look at the first pic way up at the top they are all over, but the palace is so high that they’re hard to see!

    • Caretaker says:

      I have been interested in gargoyles since I was a child. I would really like to add some gargolyes to my own house!

  12. Karen M. says:

    Really………..then it will be a real Caretakers house :) I know alot of people have them in their gardens, over here the garden dwarf is popular, the ones that look like that came out of the story snow white!

  13. Karen M. says:

    P.S. I forgot to add that this Palace ( Jacques Coeur ) which translates into Jack Heart was built in the 15th century, so these “little guys” are weathered with time!

  14. DarStarr says:

    Karen M.
    LOVE the pics! LOVE Gargoyles!! I always have.

  15. raven says:

    wow that is really interesting thank you for the pics and for the info on the gargoyles

  16. Karen M. says:

    Darstarr and Raven,

    Thank-you, I’m glad you liked my article.

  17. Desirae says:

    Thank you! Beautiful pictures…

  18. Caretaker says:

    Karen also wrote an interesting article about the persecution of witches in France

    //www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/witch-hunting-in-berrichonne

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