The Spitting Gargoyle at Impressions de France

Every now and then I come across a Disney tidbit that I probably should have know but escaped me. My most recent trip held one of these rediscovered gems when my friends and I went in search of the much overlooked "Spitting Gargoyle." We found him stoically waiting for us in the lobby of Impressions des France.

Reproduction Of The Spitting GargoyleReproduction Of The Spitting Gargoyle

The "Spitting Gargoyle" may be the most famous inhabitant of Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame, next to Quasimodo of course. He (or she) is just one of hundreds of frightening stone creatures standing guard along the roofline. The term "gargoyle" originates from the French word "gargouille," meaning "throat." True gargoyles are actually elaborate downspouts, which direct water run-off away from delicate masonry and help protect a building from the elements. The famous "Spitting Gargoyle" however doesn't have a functional throat component, thus making it actually what is called a grotesque of chimera.

Notre Dames chimeras are considered the guardians of the church, warding away evil and protecting those around and within the sacred space. During the middle ages it was not uncommon for people to believe that they came alive at night and flew around the city protecting its citizens until dawn when they returned to their perches.

Does This Guy Look Familiar To You?Does This Guy Look Familiar To You?

The "Spitting Gargoyle" located in Epcot is a reproduction made through a direct casting of the original chimera on the Cathedral of Notre Dame, created by Master Craftsman Michele Lorenzi. Disney movie fans may note an uncanny resemblance of the "Spitting Gargoyle" to the character of Laverne in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney has quite a history of gargoyles, as they also produced both graphic novels and an animated series featuring these fierce protectors.

Have you visited the "Spitting Gargoyle" in Epcot's France? Do you rub his nose for luck? Let us know in the comment below.

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