The Return of the Gargoyles

Gargoyle 8
When last we visited the Sint Maarten Kathedraal waterspuwers (St. Martin Cathedral gargoyles), we had moved into the Pandhof, the cloistered garden area of the cathedral. Sadly, work and weather have prevented me from getting over there as often as I had hoped, but I have finished one side of the garden area. I figured I’d go ahead and share photos of this particular batch. There are some interesting looking fellows and one poor guy who has been battered by the elements.

First up is my big-eared favorite who seems to have a fish head for a bottom, and the fish has wings instead of gills. I still can’t quite wrap my head around this one, but I absolutely love it.
Gargoyle 8

Next is our 1970s porn-stache entrant. That’s a face with a ton of personality! Unfortunately, some of it gets lost in the snow.
Gargoyle 9

Gargoyle 9

Gargoyle 9

Big mouth strikes again with this next fellow showing off his teeth. He’s got cloven hooves and a stylish medieval neck/shoulder warmer. Another impressive pair of ears, as well!
Gargoyle 10

Gargoyle 10

Next we come to a stylish lion with one impressive head of curls! Still, I wouldn’t tease him about the amount of time he spends on his hair. He’ll take a chunk out of you with those fangs!
Gargoyle 11

Gargoyle 11

Finally we come to the poor guy who’s seen better days. I feel bad for him having to hang out with mister hairdo right there next to him. Still, I’m sure our big mouthed friend on the other side of Locks of Lion is happier not to see what he’s bound to turn into some day. There’s a distinct family resemblance.
Gargoyle 12

Gargoyle 12

Pandhof Gargoyles: The Beginning

Gargoyle 4
My photography project of taking photos of all of the gargoyles on various parts of the Domkerk continues. Without a tripod for my camera, I thought I’d move into the Pandhof, the cloistered garden area next to the cathedral, since most of those gargoyles are a bit lower and easier to shoot. I’m still hoping to get a tripod at some point, since the extra stability will come in useful for the higher-up gargoyles, but there are plenty of creatures in the Pandhof to keep me going until I do get a tripod.

I continue to be fascinated by all the little details that make up these fabulous grotesques. Each one is unique, like a demented snowflake. This first fellow is pretty scary with his cloven feet, pugnacious nose, and big snarling mouth.

The next fellow is some strange hybrid of snail and Gary Busey.
Gargoyle 6

Gargoyle 6

This next one I think of as a Babushka Gryffin. I love the little head scarf.
Gargoyle 5

Gargoyle 5

And finally, we have the one I got today, which is just inside the back entrance to the Pandhof. I like to think of him as my Billy Goat Gruff.
Gargoyle 7

Gargoyle 7

Gargoyle 7

A Year with the Gargoyles

First Section
One of the things I love about Gothic architecture is the sheer amount of detail. From the tracery in the windows to the finials that seem to top every point, there’s always something to see. Often, each bit of decorative detail is different from any other piece on the cathedral, like snowflakes.

Having taken last year off from the 365 photo project — the goal to take at least one photo every day — I decided to give it a go again this year. I figured it would encourage me to go for walks on my own and keep looking at the world around me. While out for our New Year’s Day walk, we stopped by the cathedral. I’m as drawn to the whole Domplein as a needle is drawn to north on a compass. While taking in the majestic detail of the apse, I had the idea to incorporate the cathedral into my overall 365 project. My goal this year is to photograph every gargoyle on the cathedral and in the garden next to it. Once that’s done, I’ll probably go back and start photographing various other decorative details until I’ve captured almost every inch of the place!

I could easily spend a whole day there, taking photos of each and every figure, but to keep me going out on a regular basis, I’m only taking photos of one gargoyle a day. I don’t do it every single day; but I’m aiming to go almost daily. I’ll probably do a post at the end of each week, or maybe I’ll just start a separate Tumblr blog for them. We’ll see.

I had to start somewhere, so I chose the section of the cathedral that you see above. It’s in the back of the cathedral on the southern side, near the entrance to the Pandhof. There are three gargoyles that run along the top of this section of the building, on the three bits of buttressing. I started left to right and you can see them in that order in the following pictures. I tried to get them head on and from a side view.

Gargoyle 1

This next one reminds me of a Muppet, like a cross between Fozzy Bear and Sam the Eagle.
Gargoyle 2

Gargoyle 2

Gargoyle 3

Gargoyle 3