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Gargoyles

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The word gargoyle actually stems from the Latin word gurgula meaning throat and to gargle. Through time, any grotesque and statuesque adornment on a church or other structure has come to fall under the title of gargoyles. Many associate such art with Medieval and Gothic times. This is when the practice was prolific but it is also far removed from its origins. The idea of the Gargoyle was already corrupted when they were showing up on Gothic cathedrals; many have nothing to do with water or no tangible function at all for that matter.
The reason water is expelled off the side of the buildings via gargoyles is to get the water to fall to the ground far from the side of the foundation. Without such methods, building would loose stability and could sink or fall.
Again by textbook definition, gargoyle like statues without water spouts are called grotesques.

 

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