"My gallery of gorgeous gargoyles!" Top 5 Page for this destination Avignon Travelogue by CatherineReichardt
Avignon Travel Guide: 505 reviews and 1,486 photos
(work in progress)
Ever since I was a child, I've loved a good gargoyle!
In fact, I'd go as far as to say that my early encounters with gargoyles - probably on top of Notre Dame de Paris and the Dom in Koeln - helped to spark my subsequent passion for Gothic architecture and history.
The symbolism of gargoyles is so edgy and well - often downright rude - that it cannot but appeal to the rebellious child in us all who'd love the latitude to be so badly behaved in public! And in latter years, I have come to appreciate designs which cunningly combine functionality with decoration - why have a dull downpipe when you can have a furiously howling banshee spewing forth bilge which serves exactly the same function???
The 'lady' below (who graces the top of the Palais des Papes - just look for her on the battlements by the viewpoint adjacent to the spikey Gothic towers) is my current favourite. You can just sense her incandescent rage and know that whatever language she is screaming in, you wouldn't need a word of vocabulary to understand the sentiment being conveyed!
Why this little chap - located high up just inside the main entrance, to the right of the cannonballs (see my other travel tip) - is trying to strangle himself is anyone's guess.
But that's the great thing about gargoyles: they provide you with carte blanche to let your macabre imagination run riot. If you're ever in a situation where your kids are bored in the vicinity of a Gothic church, asking them to spot gargoyles and make up stories about them is an excellent diversionary tactic!
Disney's cartoon version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame was clearly similarly inspired, although I have to say that their characterisation is rather more benign than that which the average grotesque gargoyle would inspire for me ... but that's the Disneyfied version of reality for you!
Just in case you've never had the chance to appreciate the inner workings of a gargoyle, the Palais des Papes in Avignon has a Nosferatu-inspired one on display which allows you to look up into the beastie's throat and see the water pipe discharging through the mouth. I don't think that I've ever seen this displayed in a museum before, and yet it's such an obvious thing to illustrate: yet another big tick for this amazing museum!
More Travelogues (2)
Written May 9, 2016
The heady enchantment of rue des Teinturiers
Written May 9, 2016
A 'virtual' tour of Palais des Papes
- See All Rue des Teinturiers: Avignon's best kept...
- See All Getting to Avignon affordably by air
- See All Navigating around Avignon
CatherineReichardt's Related Pages
Avignon Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "The Dilettante & Demoiselles of Avignon"
- "Enchanting Avignon!"
- "Avignon - Cité des papes et du théâtre"
- "Several Popes and More"
- "Beautiful Architecture, Romans, Popes, Arts..."
- "The Papacy of Avignon"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Avignon
- Hotels in Avignon
- Transportation in Avignon
- Nightlife in Avignon
- Restaurants in Avignon
- Shopping in Avignon
- Warnings and Dangers in Avignon
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Avignon
- 38 Reviews
- 60 Photos
- 13 Forum posts
- 12 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (129)
Have you been to Avignon?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Avignon
- updated a Avignon Travel Page "Enchanting Avignon!"
- Posted in Travel Uganda Forum "Re: safety in Kampala under the..."
- Commented on one of CatherineReichardt's Avignon tips
- Uploaded a Photo to "Enchanting Avignon!"
- Wrote a Review Rue des Teinturiers: Avignon's best kept secret! about Rue des Teinturiers in Avignon Things to Do
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Johannesburg Intro, 210 reviews, 288 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cape Town Intro, 88 reviews, 115 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Pretoria Intro, 70 reviews, 113 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Mauritius Intro, 78 reviews, 100 photos
- Paris Intro, 69 reviews, 94 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Uganda Intro, 75 reviews, 86 photos
- New York City Intro, 72 reviews, 83 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Rwanda Intro, 69 reviews, 85 photos
- London Intro, 57 reviews, 77 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Lesotho Intro, 58 reviews, 69 photos