A chimera watches over Paris 19 Oct 2017
About this photo
A chimera perches precariously on the roof of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. From here, it keeps a watchful eye over the city. Chimeras are mythical figures and have been used to decorate buildings since ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek times. Often mistaken for gargoyles, the two come in different forms, from mythical creatures to hybrids of birds and beasts. Gargoyles are very similar to chimera. The main difference is that they have a function, to take rainwater away from buildings. The grotesques, the collective name for the two types of statue, were added to Notre Dame Cathedral in the 1840s. Impressively, they survived numerous attacks throughout World War 2. Tour the cathedral, inside and out, as part of Insight Guides' trips to Paris.
This article was originally published on 25th February, 2016