The gargoyles on Notre Dame cathedral were built as water spouts to prevent damage to the masonry by deflecting rainwater from the sides of the building. After the installation of drain pipes in the 16th century, the gargoyles were merely ornamental.Know More
The word "gargoyle" comes from the Latin "gurgulio" and the French "garguille," which mean gullet or throat and suggest a gargling sound. In Italian, gargoyle is "doccione," which means protruding gutter. Typically, water entered the creature and spouted out through its mouth. The term gargoyle included not only grotesquely-shaped waterspouts, but also other sorts of drains, including those in the shape of animals and people as well as non-ornamented gutters. In Medieval times, the grotesque shapes of gargoyles were used to frighten the illiterate people and demonstrate the concept of evil. Congregants also believed that gargoyles kept away evil from the church by frightening evil spirits.
The original gargoyles on Notre Dame cathedral were constructed in the late 12th century. However, during the French Revolution in the late 18th century, fanatics stripped the gargoyles from the building and destroyed them. In the 1830s, an architect restored the gargoyles to the sides of the cathedral. They bore little resemblance to the originals, but were rather renditions as interpreted by the contemporary artisans.Learn more about Modern Europe
The Eiffel Tower was built to serve as a gateway into the World's Fair held in Paris in 1889. Initially only built as a temporary structure, meant to last less than 20 years, it has since become one of the world's architectural wonders. It is rigorously maintained for safety and to preserve the integrity of the structure.Full Answer >
The Suez Canal Company, operating under the auspices of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the former French consul to Cairo, and the Ottoman governor of Egypt, began construction on the Suez Canal in 1859. Laborers using picks and shovels, and later dredgers and steam shovels, dug the canal.Full Answer >
The East German military began constructing the Berlin Wall in 1961 for the purpose of preventing civilians from crossing into West Berlin, which was part of West Germany. The wall began as a line of barbed wire guarded by the military before being built into a lengthy concrete barrier.Full Answer >
The East German military built the Berlin Wall after World War II to prevent the migration of civilians to the Allied West. Many Eastern Germans did not want to live under their communist leaders and attempted to cross the border into West Germany by scaling the wall.Full Answer >