Gargoyles have a purpose: To protect Notre Dame. The fate of Notre Dame’s famous gargoyles and chimeras was not certain in the immediate wake of the massive blaze that partially destroyed the famous cathedral. However, there was hope that many of the beloved stone creatures would survive.
I saw Notre Dame when I was 16 or 17. Inside, there was Latin, stones and that light coming through the windows. It smelled of incense. My sister and I climbed the stairs and looked at the gargoyles. I felt like I’d fallen through the back of the wardrobe.
— Maria Haskins (@MariaHaskins) April 16, 2019
You can see photos of some of the Notre Dame gargoyles throughout this article, as well as learn more about what they represent. In an astonishing turn of events that devastated Parisians and those the world over, the blaze destroyed most of the cathedral’s roof and collapsed its spire. However, hundreds of firefighters were ultimately able to vanquish the flames, leaving the facade of the building intact.
Getty‘The Vampire’, a chimere, similar to a gargoyle, on the cathedral of Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite in central Paris.
“Two-thirds of the roof of Notre-Dame has been ravaged,” said General Jean-Claude Gallet, commander of the Brigade of firefighters in Paris, to reporters.
Today, The Gargoyles of Notre Dame weep. pic.twitter.com/7DVusjuosZ
— FRA (@frma_com) April 16, 2019
The fire at the beloved landmark is now under control. The famous bell towers and religious relics like the crown of thorns were saved. The fate of the stunning rose stained-glass windows was not yet clear. On Twitter, though, people worried about their favorite gargoyles. Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and the Disney film based on it, also helped popularize the creatures.
Thinking of the gargoyles today.#NotreDame #NotreDameFire pic.twitter.com/IU6vUASBfg
— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) April 16, 2019
The gargoyles were already in peril. “The famous gargoyles of Notre-Dame, all carved in the nineteenth century, and which perform an essential role of projecting rainwater away from the building, have in many places been replaced with unsightly PVC tubes because the stonework was too corroded (and thus dangerous) to leave in place,” Notre Dame’s website reveals.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Gargoyles Have a Practical Purpose
This photograph taken on June 26, 2018, shows a distressed gargoyle of Notre Dame …read more