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Gargoyles in architecture
Gargoyles in architecture: history, significance, features, mythology

Gargoyles in architecture have been known since Ancient Egypt. 

Are gargoyles decorative or functional?

In architecture, the gargoyle is designed to divert rainwater from the roof and from the wall of the building. This element performs an important function: it protects the masonry from being destroyed by rain flows.

The term is used most often in connection with medieval Gothic buildings. But history has preserved examples of the use of these elements in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Etruscans… The worldview of people gives this element in the architecture magical properties and, at the same time, a decorative load.

History of the use of gargoyles in architecture

Gargoyles in the architecture of Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian architecture has examples of gargoyles used on temple buildings. Most of the roofs of Egyptian buildings were flat and used as extra space. In temples, the roof was covered with tightly fitting slabs of stone. Depressions for collecting water ran along the entire length of the roof and ended with gutters.

From the time of Niusserre (2453-2422 BC) they often took the form of the front of reclining lions. But unlike medieval gargoyles, water did not come out of their mouths, but flowed between their front paws. The ancient Egyptians gave the images magical powers to protect buildings from the god Seth and his storms.

How ordinary Egyptians solved this problem in their homes before our era is unknown.

Gargoyles in the architecture of Ancient Greece

Hybrid creatures such as harpies, centaurs, griffins and chimeras were part of the worldview of the ancient Greeks. Statues of griffins were placed on every corner of the roofs of their temples and treasuries as guards.

Myths tell how the griffins guarded the gold of Scythia from the Arimaspians (a tribe of horsemen of normal human stature with one eye in the middle of their foreheads), who were constantly trying to steal the treasure.

The gutters in ancient Greek architecture were made of ceramic tiles and ended with carved lion heads made of marble. Rainwater flowed down the gutter and out of the open mouth of a lion. These beasts were a symbol of power. Their magical function was to protect the building and its inhabitants from enemies and ward off evil spirits.

For example, preserved 39 of 102 such gargoyles from the Temple of Zeus, the largest in the Peloponnese. Many art historians call this building a perfect example of Doric architecture (470 – 456 BC). (source)

Gargoyles in medieval architecture

The construction of the great churches and cathedrals of the Middle Ages took several centuries. Because they were made of cheaper material, the gargoyles quickly wore out and were replaced by new ones. This fact does not allow us to establish the time of the first gargoyles.

The 19th-century neo-Gothic ideologue and founder of architectural restoration, French architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc says that the earliest medieval gargoyles appear on the cathedral of Laon, France, around 1200-1220. (source)

The shapes of medieval gargoyles changed over the years. Increasing in length, some of the later examples reach up to one meter. At the end of the 13th century, the figures became more complex. From the 14th century they became very detailed and, often, caricatured. The 15th century produced even more amusing and less demonic images.

But the most famous examples are the gargoyles of Notre Dame de Paris. This term refers to all grotesque depictions of the building, including chimeras, which do not perform the function of a spillway. But it should be noted that this decoration came much later.  For the mystery of the chimeras and gargoyles of this cathedral and the most famous of them, see the article The Gargoyles of Notre Dame on the Zen Channel Architecture.

Why were Christian cathedrals decorated with gargoyles?

At the height of the Gothic period, the influence of the Catholic Church in Europe grew at the expense of the ignorance and superstition of the people. Most people were illiterate. The Church used amazing visual images such as gargoyles, stained-glass windows, and sculptures to illustrate the scriptures.

There is an opinion that they remind us, “even though God is near, evil never slumbers,” or of the need to protect one’s church.

Some believe that the image of gargoyles came directly from the Bible (St. George and the dragon). Some note the adaptation of pagan imagery to the Christian faith to convert to Catholicism.

Others hold the view that gargoyles and grotesques are inspired by the skeletal remains of prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs and giant reptiles. Psychologists would argue that the horrible forms are an expression of man’s subconscious fears.

While most priests accepted gargoyles as decorations for religious buildings, there were opponents of such decorations. For example, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), abbot of a monastery of the Cistercian order, wrote:

“What are these fantastic monsters doing in monasteries before the eyes of the reading brethren? What is the meaning of these unclean monkeys, strange wild lions and monsters? For what purpose are these creatures, half-beasts, half-humans, here? I see several bodies with one head and several heads with one body. Here is a four-legged one with the head of a snake, there a fish with the head of a four-legged one, then again an animal, half horse, half goat … If we do not blush for such absurdities, we should at least regret having wasted our energy on them.”

Gargoyles were used until the early 18th century. Since that time, more and more buildings have been made with drainpipes. In 1724 the London Building Act, passed by the British Parliament, made the use of down pipes mandatory for all new constructions in the country.

Houses with gargoyles today

Gargoyles are still installed today, but these days they serve purely decorative rather than sacred purposes and are found on university and secular buildings.

Although grotesques on modern structures are not designed to drain water and are therefore not technically gargoyles, most people call them that.

Grotesques were used as decoration on 19th and early 20th century buildings in cities such as New York City (e.g., the stainless steel gargoyles of the Chrysler Building), Minneapolis, and Chicago. Gargoyles can be found on many modern churches and other Art Nouveau, Neo-Gothic or Eclectic buildings.

Now, the purpose of gargoyles is to entertain. And this theme is widely exploited by the creators of computer games, cartoons and horror films.

After all, what is a gargoyle?

A gargoyle is a grotesquely carved face or figure of a person or animal, protruding from the gutter of a building to drain rainwater. These days it is used as decoration. It is essentially NOT a gargoyle.

If the sculpture installed does not serve the function of the gutter, but is installed as artistic decoration, its correct name is chimera or grotesque. There are also regional variations, such as punk.

By the way, gargoyles are often used to decorate fountains.

Gargoyles: the mythology of France

The French legend of the Gargoyle, a fire-breathing dragon with wings like bats and a long neck, explains the fact that gargoyles appeared on Christian churches.

Saint Roman (fr. Romain), former Chancellor of the Merovingian King Clotaire II (Chlothar) (631 – 641 A.D.), saves the people of Rouen from a monster named Gargoyle or Goji.

It is said that the monster lived nearby in a cave and terrorized the locals, either by swallowing ships that sailed down the Seine or by starting a flood or fire. Every year human sacrifices, maidens or convicts were to be brought to it. St. Roman tamed the creature with crucifixion and prayer, depriving him of his will when he lured a volunteer condemned to death out of the cave for bait. The body of the dragon was burned at the stake, but the head and throat did not burn: for the dragon was fire-breathing. They were nailed to the wall of a newly built church for the edification of other dragons. And Roman was made bishop. Since then, each archbishop of this land has the right to release one prisoner on the day of the saint. And dragons do not settle in these lands.

It was a time when royalty sought the support of the clergy to satisfy their political ambitions, to conquer new lands.

Now you know how gargoyles in architecture reflected the worldview of peoples, their characteristics and purpose in different time periods.

front windows for spring decor
What to put on exterior front windows for spring decor

When the world awakens from its winter sleep, everything seems to look happier and more beautiful. During this period, it is irresistible to want our four corners to look exceptional under the gentle rays of the spring sun. Necessary changes to your front windows for spring decor now.

Spring window awakening

If you need to make changes to your surroundings after a long winter, you should start with your apartment. Experts recommend the shades and colors of spring, as well as to play with color contrasts and, of course, get rid of winter monotony in the decoration of your windows.

If you want to let the energy of spring into your apartment, you should bet on bright colors or patterns associated with this beautiful time of year. Colors such as green, pink or yellow will evoke associations with the awakening to the life of nature. You don’t have to change the color of the walls unnecessarily, just enrich the sofa with decorative cushions dressed in bright colors or floral patterns.

The heavy curtains on the windows should be replaced by light, airy curtains that allow the first rays of the morning sun to illuminate the interior.

If you refresh the room where you spend most of your time, thanks to this it is real to feel a new burst of energy and look at all the changes taking place outside the window with different eyes.

front windows for spring decor

Spring metamorphosis in window design

Designers recommend that you start the spring metamorphosis of your home by changing the color of the roller shutters and curtains on your windows. It’s a relatively easy and quick way to completely visually transform your home space. Get rid of gray, dark colors and heavy fabrics. In their place, place floral patterned fabrics that convey the lush greens, sunny yellows and energy of pink and red flowers. Large flowers combined with matching stripes will help create a stylish and interesting holistic design for the plastic window.

An element that is sure to bring a spring aura to the room are the bright, colorful flowers on the roller shutters. Tulips of intense colors are associated primarily with warm, sunny days. Near such a window everyone would love to enjoy a meal, have a cup of tea or read a book. The room seems spotless, but cozy.

People who do not feel comfortable with intense colors should put on pastel colors, which for several seasons have consistently dominated not only our closets, but also perfectly suitable for window decoration. Green perfectly harmonizes not only with white, but also with pastel colors, giving a spring mood to the plastic window.

With the arrival of spring, you want change more than anything else. This is not surprising. Awakening to the life of nature, inclines to replace recently desirable dense materials with bright and airy fabrics, which allow you to let more light into the apartment. It is important to note that window accessories, made from 100% cotton – will further emphasize the closeness to nature.

Romantic mood in window decoration

Spring is a time of life, a time when feelings are born. It is a very romantic time of year, the mood of which can be captured in a version of plastic window decoration. Window decor details and color accents should reflect the romantic aspect of spring.

Gloomy blinds and curtains should be replaced with airy curtains, especially in shades of white. For many, white is the color of purity and innocence. And that’s what spring is, too – incredibly beautiful, ethereal, and fresh. Windows decorated with tulle curtains of fine fabric allow more light into the house, and being in a brightly lit room has a positive effect on our senses and well-being in general. We become happier and show a positive attitude to people and life.

However, if you do not like the usual white curtains, and you think they are too pretentious, or over the winter tired of monochrome, you can choose curtains with delicate patterns, preferably floral. Or add greenery, which symbolizes the spring mood in window decorations like no other color.

Some users do not like to decorate windows with curtains and drapes. They prefer blinds or fabric roller shutters. For them, there are also solutions on the market to be on trend in the spring. It is important that the accessory decorating the plastic window has a floral pattern, and this picture of nature is a joy.

Fabric roller blinds with delicate floral applique and charming ribbons will also bring a romantic spring note to the interior. Such a roller blind can be sewn by yourself. It will not require much sacrifice and will take a little time. Much also depends on our creativity and mood. It is safe to say that as a result, the plastic window will be framed with such an accessory, which will definitely stand out among others.

If classic shutters are not innovative for you, then you can decide on the Roman variant of this window accessory. Despite the fact that the fabric of a Roman blind at first glance seems dense, it lets in a lot of light, which is so important for the spring mood.

Spring window decorations love flowers

After completing the decor of plastic windows, you can also decorate the windowsill with the help of herbs grown in pots, which is especially relevant for the kitchen window. These plants need, above all, sun and moderate humidity, so they are not particularly demanding. And there’s nothing that will improve the flavor of food like the aroma of fresh dill, basil, marjoram, or green onions picked from a windowsill. In addition to taste, a home vegetable garden on the windowsill also serves an aesthetic function. Welcoming the spring awakening at home thanks to it will be much easier and more harmonious.

Plastic windows in other rooms can be decorated with spring flowers – bouquets of daffodils, hyacinths or tulips. Just buy bulbs or seeds at a gardening store and let them grow. Nothing evokes such a feeling of spring and is not so striking as window sills decorated with wonderful delicate flowers, harmonizing with the accessories on the windows.

Breezy interior for spring in harmony with windows

With giant steps this year, spring broke in, but it is an immutable truth that the spring weather and the beauty of awakening nature can be enjoyed by humans for quite a long time. We hope we were able to convince you that in order to fully feel the atmosphere of this beautiful time of year, it is necessary to make changes in the decor of the apartment. If you already have plastic windows installed, you do not need to plan a major renovation, just small touches that will bring spring into any interior.

In addition to decorating the windows in the spring design, it is worth filling the room with elements of similar colored fabrics (pillows, tablecloths and bedspreads).

In addition to decorating the window sill, you can place vases in different parts of the room, which on any day can be filled with fresh flowers. A vase with fresh flowers will go well with a bright tablecloth on the table. An additional element of the spring interior decor will be multicolored napkins in the tone of curtains or roller blinds.

The spring climate should also be introduced into the bedroom, so that immediately after waking up you can feel its energy. Changing the blankets to lighter ones, more suitable for warm nights, it is a good idea to change the sheets to new ones in bright colors or with floral patterns.

Of course, do not forget to choose curtain rods and appropriate accessories for curtains, which will be in harmony with the spring mood of your plastic window.

Bird Cage
The Best Ways to Decorate a Bird Cage

Get the Right Bird Cage for Your Pet

This article will teach you what you need to know about choosing the best bird cage for your pet.

The first step is to decide what kind of bird cage you want for your pet. There are two types of cages that people usually buy – wire and plastic. Wire cages are more durable and can hold more birds, but plastic cages are easier to clean and maintain.

There are also different types of bird cages that come with different features like perches, swings, toys, hammocks, and more. So it’s important that you consider these factors before deciding which type of cage is best for your pet.

How To Add Colors and Patterns to a Bird Cage

These are some of the ways that you can add colors and patterns to a bird cage.

1. Use a sponge brush to apply paint to the sides of the cage.

2. Use a sponge brush to apply paint in an oval pattern on one side of the cage and then use a different color on another side of the oval shape.

3. Use a sponge brush to apply paint in circles on one side of the bird cage and then use a different color on another side of those circles.

4. Place colored tissue paper inside one half of the bird cage, then place white tissue paper inside another half so that you can see through it from both sides, and then use your finger or a sponge brush to paint in colorful patterns or shapes onto each half separately.

5. Use a sponge brush to paint directly onto the inside of the bird cage and then use a different color to paint over your first color.

Designing New Furniture for Your Bird Cage

You may be looking for creative birdcage furniture designs to make your bird feel at home. This article will provide you with some ideas to help you get started.

Many people are now choosing to have a bird as their pet and a lot of them are opting for parakeets. With the right design, your pet can have a good time in their cage while providing them with some entertainment and comfort.

To help you come up with creative designs, here are some design ideas that can be applied to any type of cage:

– Birdcage with shelves and perches: This is perfect for birds that like to climb and explore new things in their cages. It also provides them with ample space they can use as nesting spots or resting spots during the day.

Adding Pots with Flowers and Foliage

In this guide, I will teach you how to plant a plant inside of the cage.

This is a simple tutorial that anyone can do. It’s a great way to add life and color to your terrarium or to make it more interesting.

The key is using the right substrate for the right plant. For example, succulents need soil, while cacti need sand or gravel.

Adding Other Small Decorations

Adding other small decorations to the bird’s cage will make it look more homely. You can use a colorful plant, some wooden beads, or even some stones.

The best thing to put inside the bird’s cage is something that you enjoy looking at and that also has a calming effect on the bird.

Bathroom Shelf
How to Decorate Your Bathroom Shelf: Easy Tips That Will Change the Way You Look at Storage Space

What is a Bathroom Shelf and How Does it Work?

A bathroom shelf is a type of storage unit that is usually installed in the bathroom. It has a number of shelves that can be used to store anything from toiletries to towels.

The purpose of the shelf is to provide additional space in a small bathroom and make it feel more spacious. The shelves are also an alternative way to organize your items because they provide a more organized and aesthetically pleasing look for your bathroom.

A bathroom shelf can be made out of wood or metal, but it is recommended that you use wood as it will not rot or rust over time.

How to Choose the Best Bathroom Shelves for Your Home

The bathroom shelves can be a great addition to your home. There are many different types of shelves that you can choose from. You should consider the size of your bathroom, the shelving units you want, and what type of materials you want your shelves to be made out of before making your decision.

The most important thing when it comes to choosing a shelf is the size. You should measure how much space there is between each shelf so that you have enough room for all of your items without having to stack them up on top one another. In addition, consider what type of material you would like for your shelves. Some people prefer wood, while others prefer metal or plastic for their shelving units.

Tips on How to Get Great Looking Shelves in Minutes

If you have a small bathroom or shower, you’ll be happy to know that it’s possible to get quick and easy shelves in minutes. To get the job done, all you need is a wall and some tools.

1. Measure the wall, mark where the shelves will be on the wall and then use a level to make sure that your marks are straight

2. Drill holes into the wall using your drill bit of choice

3. Mount your shelves with screws or nails

4 Tools for a Great Looking Bathroom Shelf

In this article, we talk about 10 tools for a great looking bathroom shelf. These tools are not only practical but also affordable. The first tool is a basket that you can use to hold your toiletry items. This will also help you keep your bathroom organized and clean at the same time. The second tool is a towel rack that can be mounted on the wall or on the floor. You can hang towels from it without having to worry about them getting wet in the wash. It will also provide extra storage space for your towels and other bath supplies and make sure they don’t get wrinkled or dirty while they are in storage.

The third tool is a small storage container to store bath essentials like soap, shampoo, and conditioner. You can use this tool to stay organized while you are at the sink.

The fourth tool is a shower caddy that has four shelves so that you can better organize your products and keep your bathroom tidy. This will easily allow you to balance it on the shower wall.