Apr 22, 2013

40 Gargoyles and Grotesques Around the World


In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall. [Source]

A grotesque is a sculpture that does not work as a waterspout and serves only an ornamental or artistic function. Both gargoyles and grotesques are said to frighten off and protect those it guards from any evil or harmful spirits.

As an architectural sculpture I find gargoyles and grotesques fascinating. Whether ornamental or functional, their symbolism and ability to stir the emotions of those that gaze upon them is intriguing. Below you will find a collection of gargoyles and grotesques around the world. You can find many more examples on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons.


1. Oakland Cemetery – Atlanta, Georgia




2. San Juan de los Reyes Monastery – Toledo, Spain


Photograph by yoglassberg on Flickr



3. Natural History Museum – London, England

gargoyle statue

Photograph by Jon Sullivan



4. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France




5. Cologne Cathedral – Cologne, Germany




6. Cathedral of Quito – Quito, Ecuador


Photograph by Delphine Ménard



7. Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya – Barcelona, Spain

Palau_de_la_Generalitat_gargoyle_barcelona spain

Photograph by Bernard Gagnon



8. Forbidden City – Beijing, China

Gargoyles in the Forbidden City



9. Mont Saint-Michel – Normandy, France


Photograph by Regina on Flickr



10. Washington National Cathedral – Washington D.C., USA




11. St. Nicholas Church – Lüneburg, Germany




12. Peace Tower on Parliament Hill – Ottawa, Canada




13. Marble Church, Bodelwyddan – Clwyd, Wales


Photograph by Kev Bailey on Flickr



14. Cologne Cathedral – Cologne, Germany

gargoyles cologne cathedral germany

Photograph by Frank Vincentz



15. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France


Photograph by Krzysztof Mizera



16. Reims Cathedral – Reims, France


Photograph by Ad Meskens



17. University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Academic Gargoyle



18. University of Sydney – Sydney, Australia

Gargoyle baby



19. Château d’Amboise – Amboise, France


Photograph by Ben Aveling



20. Alcobaça Monastery – Alcobaça, Portugal


Photograph by Júlio Reis



21. Washington National Cathedral – Washington D.C., USA




22. Princeton University – New Jersey, USA


Photograph by David Goehring



23. Winchester Cathedral – Winchester, England


Photograph by Tony Hisgett



24. Biltmore Estate – North Carolina, USA

Gargoyle Gutter



25. Nidaros Cathedral – Trondheim, Norway


Photograph by Endre Opsal on Flickr



26. Cathedral of Santa Eulalia – Barcelona, Spain

Gargoyle on Cathedral of Santa Eulalia Barcelona Spain

Photograph by Bernard Gagnon



27. Palma Cathedral – Palam, Mallorca, Spain


Photograph by Singdrossel



28. Magdalen College – Oxford, England

Gargoyles Magdalen College Oxford England

Photograph by Chris Creagh



29. Zagreb Cathedral – Zagreb, Croatia

zagreb catheral gargoyle croatia

Photograph by Bizutage



30. Washington National Cathedral – Washington D.C., USA

Gargoyle - Frog



31. Hospital de Sant Pau – Barcelona, Spain

Gargoyle of Hospital de Sant Pau Barcelona

Photograph by Selbymay



32. Westminster Abbey – London, England




33. Château d’Amboise – Amboise, France


Photograph by Ben Aveling



34. Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya – Barcelona, Spain

gargoyle Palau_de_la_Generalitat_barcelona spain

Photograph by Bernard Gagnon



35. St Mary’s Cathedral – Edinburgh, Scotland




36. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France




37. Notre Dame de l’Épine – Marne, France


Photograph by Mattana



38. Plummer Building – Rochester, Minnesota




39. Cheshire, England




40. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France


Photograph by Roger Wollstadt





If you enjoyed this post, the Sifter
highly recommends:











Pin ItEmail this



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48,208 other followers

Like Us on Facebook?

Close: I already like TwistedSifter