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GARGOYLES IN VIRGINIA TECH, PART 1 - JUNE 18, 2003

 

Gargoyles form an interesting characteristic of the Medieval Gothic architecture. You can see them in just about any old Gothic building in many major downtowns in the US. Unfortunately, most of them stand high above your head, and are very difficult to photograph from below. 

 

A gargoyle is a waterspout that channels rain water from roof-top gutters to the ground below. It clears the walls and the foundation off the flow, thereby minimizing potential damage from erosion. Besides serving this very practical purpose the gargoyles were also used to convey religious teachings and to ward off evil spirits. Today, they merely serve as ornaments on the exterior walls of old buildings.

 

Gargoyles come in various forms. Most of them resemble animals or demons, but some also come in human shapes. Read more about them here.

 

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Virginia Tech's campus has many old buildings with gargoyles on them. But most of them are hidden away and are not easily spotted. One really needs to look for them. I spotted the ones in this picture, on Smythe Hall on the west side of the campus. This one looks like a flying dragon to me. There are many more, and I hope to document them one by one.

 

 

 

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