The wait for the climb to the top of Notre Dame is worth the view both of the city of Paris and seeing the gargoyles up close. Some of these stone guardians have been watching this city since the 1200s – long before Columbus sailed or America became a country. The clouds – just before a short rainstorm set an awesome backdrop for some great images of the gargoyles.

In architecture, a gargoyle is carved or formed grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animals because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall.