Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#39 - Gargoyles and Street Performers in Paris

I love Gargoyles.  The real ones.  On cathedrals.  So there are really only three words needed for this.

Paris.  Notre Dame.

I like gargoyles so much I wrote a gargoyle song.

A true gargoyle (which name comes from the French word for gurgling) is a strange creature carved of stone and used as a water spout for rain to run off on a building.  This is why they were called "gargoyles."  Today we generically use the term to refer to other carved monsters, called "grotesques" found on cathedrals and other Gothic public buildings.

Of course, there are other locations than the cathedral at Notre Dame in Paris for viewing gargoyles, but Notre Dame is a magnificently fun place.  A grand wonder of architecture with a courtyard filled with street performers, and good places to eat within viewing distance.  There are also budget hotels in Paris city centre to be found.

So, when you are in planning a trip to Paris, don't forget to make Notre Dame a good long stop, because there is a lot to see.  My trip to Notre Dame was a clear, warm summer day with a cool breeze blowing through the trees.  A flamenco guitarist was playing in the square in front of the cathedral.  There were circus performers juggling and balancing in the square, and art was openly exhibited.  There was a skateboarding exhibition happening on the wide walkway coming up to the Cathedral.

Between the fun on the way up to the cathedral, and the awesome wonder of the cathedral it should be on your bucket list.  It made my list.  I have been there done that, and can check it off my list of 1,000 things to do before I die.

1 comment:

  1. A common interest, my friend. I love gargoyles too, and interviewed someone recently at TheoFantastique on the history of these interesting creations. In Salt Lake City our Presbyterian church is right across the street from a Catholic Church. I may change church's because they have gargoyles!