Several of the cards in the Kardtects Building System allow you to add carved statues and faces into card houses. In the history of architecture the use of statues have been used for a variety of reasons and many have very theological rather than practical values. One particular range of statues actually have a more practical use than emotive; namely the very distinctive designs called ‘gargoyles’.
These are a style of carvings most commonly found on Gothic styled buildings, like old churches and cathedrals. What may not be known is that there is an important difference between what a ‘gargoyle’ is compared to another very similar carving on a Gothic building called a ‘grotesque’.
Both can depict a monstrous beast or hideous face, but a ‘gargoyle’ is only a ‘gargoyle’ when it is used as part of the drainage system of the building – normally as the spout from which the excess water of the roof is projected outwards so that the walls don’t get wet. This is different to a ‘grotesque’, as this is just a carving of a beast or hideous face used for, want of a better word, decoration.
A hint to this is the actual origin of the word ‘gargoyle’, which comes from the French word ‘gargouille’, meaning ‘throat’, which itself comes from the name of a dragon that terrorized the town of Rouen in France.
Although the word dates from only the 13th century, the principle of using decorative animal mouths as guttering spouts goes back to ancient Egypt and Roman times, with the oldest example being found in Turkey, being a 13,000 stone carving of a crocodile whose mouth is spurting out the water.
The fashion of gargoyles continues today, but with entertaining twists. Such as, in the early 1990’s, when sculptor Jean-Louis Boistel was commissioned to restore the Chapel of Bethlehem, he decided to replace several of the gargoyles with modern equivalents, these included using the fluffy character ‘Gizmo’ from the film ‘Gremilns’ and the Xenomorph from the film ‘Alien’. Another fun example can be found in Washington D.C., as on the Washington National Cathedral, on its north ‘dark side’ is a gargoyle of Darth Vader.
Kardtects is continually expanding collectible cards to add to building card collections, and it is for sure a Gargoyle, or a Grotesque building card, will be added soon!
Watch the building of the card house below and decide whether it might be nice to add to the following structure somewhere or build a new.