Notre Dame broke ground in 1163 and was completed in 1345. The official name was given to the cathedral in l862.
Notre Dame is known for is sculptures on the exterior and interior. The most famous figures are the Gargoyles.
GARGOYLE- THE ROOT FOR GARGLE
"GARGOUILLE" french word for throat
Latin word- gurgulio (throat) and gurgling
THE GARGOYLES ARE GENERALLY ''WATERSPOUTS' FOR THE CATHEDRAL TO
KEEP THE RAIN OFF THE BUILDING.
THE GARGOYLES THAT ARE NOT WATERSPOUTS ARE CALLED 'GROTESQUE"
DOGS ARE SYMBOLS OF TEMPTATION. IN THE KITCHEN WHEN THE FOOD IS BEING PREPARED A DOG WILL BE TEMPTED TO STEAL A MORSEL OF FOOD. THEY ARE GOD'S CREATURES, HOWEVER, WILL BE FORGIVEN FOR THEIR MISDEEDS.
MOST PEOPLE OF THE TIME WERE ILLITERATE, THE SAINTS AND SYMBOLS OF THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR HELPED THE PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT THE STORIES OF CHRISTIANITY. THE GARGOYLES WERE ALSO USED AS PROTECTORS AGAINST EVIL AND ENCOURAGED PEOPLE TO FEEL SAFE TO ENTER THE CHURCH.
LA GARGOUILLE- IS A MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURE. HE WAS A REPITLIAN WITH A LONG NECK AND SLENDER SNOUT AND MEMBEROUS WINGS. HE LIVED IN A CAVE NEAR THE RIVER SEINE. HE WAS VERY DESTRUCTIVE, FIERY, SPROUTING WATER AND DEVOURING SHIPS AND MEN.
THE GARGOYLE WAS PLACATED BY GIVEN OFFERINGS OF VICTIMS. USUALLY THEY WERE CRIMINALS BUT LA GARGOUILLE PREFERED MAIDENS.
ST. ROMANIS IN 600 DECIDED TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE BY ASKING THEM TO BE BAPTIZED AND BUILD A CHURCH. WHEN ST. ROMANIS CONFRONTED THE GARGOYLE HE DID THE SIGN OF CROSS AND PUT A LEASH AROUND HIS NECK WITH HIS ROBE BELT.
LA GARGOUILLE WAS BURNED AT THE STAKE, HOWEVER HIS HEAD AND NECK WERE TEMPERED (FIRE PROOF) THE GARGOYLE'S HEAD AND NECK WERE MOUNTED AND PLACED ON THE TOWN SQUARE.
1. As this Gargoyle finds himself perched on the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, what thoughts do you think go through his mind on a daily basis? (He has been in the same spot for almost 1000years)
2. Most of the Gargoyles at NOTRE Dame were used as decorative and practical elements. What kind of animal or image would you use throughout the cathedral as a lasting image/images?
3. The images were like hierogylphics, designed to encourage the people of Paris to enter the church. Because most people were illiterate, they needed symbols for the divine information. What do you think is being transmitted on the doorway of the cathedral?