Sunday, July 30, 2006

Notre Dame: The Gargoyles







When we walked over to Notre Dame from our Left Bank hotel on our first evening in Paris, I was completely taken aback, even though I've seen it before and knew what to expect. How was something so magnificent ever imagined, let alone created? I felt exactly the way I did when I first saw Michelangelo's David: like crying. Maybe it's because I have no imagination or capacity for creating things in three dimensions; architecture, geometry, sculpture, the mediums of stone and glass -- all beyond me. If the world had depended upon me for the development of shelter in any form, we would all still be huddled in caves, awaiting the full impact of global warming as we did the last ice age. Fortunately, the great cathedrals of Europe, all built within the same few-hundred years' time span, were not dependent upon anyone with my limitations.

Onew of my favorite things about the cathedrals is how they incorporate so much of so many kinds of things -- and the gargoyles are among my favorites of those things. When you visit Notre Dame, you can climb the North Tower, walk across the outdoor balustrade between the towers, and climb up and down the South Tower. Up on top, you can see the upper ranges of the cathedral, you can scan the rooftops of Paris, and you can make friends with the gargoyles.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

just incredible photos--I love the gargoyle holding his head in his hands, so thoughtful looking!
Meg

Judith said...

Yup. Awe inspiring. Were you able to get below the foundation? Interesting stuff down there!
J~

Anonymous said...

What wonderful pictures, both of the gargoyles and your walk through town. I have never thought France was a place I wanted to visit, but your pictures are changing my mind.
Marian

Globetrotter said...

You're back! (Boy am I out of it. Sigh.)

I had the same reaction to Notre Dame the first time I entered it. I didn't FEEL like crying I just out and out bawled my eyes out. The sensation of something ethereal in that holy place was palpable.

Those darned gargoyles! Inspiration galore for creativity! You walked up a heck of a lot of steps for those pics, didn't you?But they were certainly worth it!

Erin said...

Fabulous photos! I've been absent for months but am catching up now. Your trip sounds fabulous!

I always think that gargoyles are so majestic and yet also somehow ugly. And it works for them!

Theresa Williams said...

Those are just too cool for words.

Carol said...

Your incredibly beautiful and sharp photos are making me want to return to Paris simply for the opportunity to climb those steps to see the gargoyles from the same perspective that you did. Wow!

sunflowerkat said...

I have never been here and would LOVE to see it! Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and taking me there for a few moments.

tess said...

Ok, now I have to go watch the movie!

Coy said...

Wow ... great photos. Love the Gargoyles. Makes me think about some I saw a while back at a cathedral in West Palm. Maybe I should try to find them again and give the iguanas a break.
*** Coy ***