The grotesques, the stone statues which adorn the upper gallery between Notre-Dame's two towers, were designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. They recreate the fantastic universe of the Middle Ages. Unlike the gargoyles which have a function of draining of rainwater, the grotesques serve only a decorative function.

Sculpted by the workshops of the artist Geoffroy-Dechaume, there are 54 grotesques. The shapes of some of them are familiar to us: the pelican (symbol of charity), the bear (symbol of strength), the dragon (symbol of power), the stryge (the most famous grotesque), or Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the entrance to the Underworld.

Four grotesques of this group need to be entirely replaced, as they have been damaged beyond repair.

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Grotesques (Group 1)

by Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris


The grotesques, the stone statues which adorn the upper gallery between Notre-Dame's two towers, were designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. They recreate the fantastic universe of the Middle Ages. Unlike the gargoyles which have a function of draining of rainwater, the grotesques serve only a decorative function.

Sculpted by the workshops of the artist Geoffroy-Dechaume, there are 54 grotesques. The shapes of some of them are familiar to us: the pelican (symbol of charity), the bear (symbol of strength), the dragon (symbol of power), the stryge (the most famous grotesque), or Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the entrance to the Underworld.

Four grotesques of this group need to be entirely replaced, as they have been damaged beyond repair.