Notre-Dame’s gargoyles are very famous! I’m sure you’ve heard of them before. But do you know what they’re used for? They were built into the ends of the gutters to drain rainwater off the roof; since the gargoyles extend far off the side of the roof, the litres of rainwater from storms fall far from the walls to prevent damage.
The chimeras are used as simple decorations. Most of them are on the façade, seated on a gallery, watching the people below and scanning all of Paris.
The sculptors really used their imagination on these statues. They are animal and human figures, half-man and half-beast, grotesque, horrific, fantastic creatures with eagles’ beaks and wings, lions’ talons, serpents’ tails…
Although some of them may be frightening, they remind us that all creatures are the work of God, so they deserve His love and salvation.