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Gargoyles in France
Gargoyles, sometimes called grotesques, are thought to date back to the 12th century. You will find them all over Europe on buildings as a means of directing water away from the building – water spouts. During the Middle Ages gargoyles became the popular form of these water spouts.
In French, the term gargoyle is gargouille which comes from the Latin gargula (throat) and is also connected with the French verb gargariser (to gargle).
When architects began to realize the efficiency of the gargoyles, they began to appear in a more systematic fashion as you can see here on the Notre Dame Cathedral in Dijon, France.
Probably the most recognizable gargoyle is the one at right which appears on
Most gargoyles and chimera were carved in situ because of their tremendous weight and the lack of cranes during the Middle Ages. Lead gargoyles can be seen from the 16th century forward. Gargoyles were predominantly animals and grotesque animals however toward the end of the 13th century even humans were depicted as seen in these gargoyles from the Bruges, France Cathedral.