Friday, April 8, 2011

Gargoyles and Grotesques

Oops sorry this was late posting. The Auto-scheduler had a glitch.

Today's  A-Z Challenge is "G".


Going for a paranormal theme for Fantasy Friday, the first idea to pop into my mind is"ghost." Popular ghost hunting shows, such as GHOST HUNTERS, and GHOST ADVENTURES are fast becoming "the" reality shows to watch. CNet, ever-mindful of technological trends, has a short video on the website that lists the Top 5 Ghost Hunting Gadgets. Really? Yeah, really. Who woulda thunk?

Hmmm, maybe this ghost thing is a little over-played.


The next idea to ding-ding in my head is gargoyles. I imagine the scary, squatty, statues adorning medieval churches and castles and some modern buildings. Ooh, aah!

A 1st century BC Hellenistic gargoyle 

Instead of ghost hunting, I turn my attention to learning a tidbit about gargoyles. Much to my surprise I learn that what I think of as gargoyles aren't exactly gargoyles at all. Gargoyles are ancient gutter systems decorated with carved stone figures used as water spouts to keep water from seeping down into the mortar of stone walls. Without the gutters, the squatty, scary stone statues are called grotesques.

The term gargoyle is usually associated with  medieval gutters and architecture, but throughout all ages the word implied some means of water diversions.

Whether gargoyle or grotesque, these creatures were thought to ward off evil with their terrifying appearance.


A gargoyle on the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. See the open gutter?
(c) Michael Reeve

Modern grotesque of Darth Vadar at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington.
(c) wikimedia commons
Wow, ancient architecture goes sci-fi. Now that's worthy of a Fantasy Friday footnote.
TGIFF!

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3 comments:

Shelly said...

Liked your post. Your research is true. But, I still like those cheesy ghost shows.

L'Aussie said...

I had trouble finding your comments. Bit difference. Hi, I used the surprise me button and found you. I've followed.

Like your post. The pics are great. Gargoyles, great.

Denise<3

Trisha said...

I also wrote about Grotesque, but mine was a book title :D

There's something awesome about gargoyles, even if they are for a relatively mundane use contrary to popular assumption :)

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