Notre Dame gargoyle – Paris, January 2006
Notre Dame de Paris is undoubtedly the most famous cathedral in France, if not the world, thanks to Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Standing on one of the 2 small islands in the middle of the Seine, it is one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture and took nearly 200 years to build (1163-1345). You can ascend the vertiginous staircase in the left hand tower to reach the walkways across the cathedral roof and the top of the towers themselves, from where you have a beautiful view over Paris. Sharing the parapet with you are dozens of intricately carved stone gargoyles in fantastic beast shapes, added during a restoration project in the 1800s. Their practical purpose is to provide outlets for the rainwater gutters, but it is also said that their startling appearance is meant to ward off evil spirits
This is part of a series of non-food photographs that will be published every Saturday on CookSister. Click here for a full list of photographs previously featured.