The Gargoyles of Limoux



Limoux, the town featured in today’s post, is in France, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. The town is split in two by the Aude river.

Limoux is home to Saint-Martin church, a magnificent monument with some beautiful gargoyles. The town grew around the church, which was built in the 12th century, although a series of changes were made to it in the 14th and 15th centuries. The tower was rebuilt in the 18th century after being destroyed by lightning, and restoration work was also carried out in the 19th century.



The gargoyles

The gargoyles are lovely, quite slender and stylised. Many of them have been damaged, with cracks showing the stonework and broken or missing parts and limbs. But even in spite of this, they are all superb gargoyles and their worn appearance doesn’t spoil our appreciation of them. When you walk round the outside of the church you can still enjoy looking at them.

Their length makes them look as if they’re about to take flight and their leanness gives them an elegant appearance. The gargoyles of Saint-Martin are very expressive and are skilfully carved, as you can see from the detail in some of their faces and in things like plumage and the lion’s mane.

The iconography is also excellent. Although there aren’t many of them (barely twenty or so) you can spot a wide variety of types: winged quadrupeds, demons, animals like a dog, a lion and an ape, as well as fantastic anthropomorphs.

We invite you to take a look at the gargoyles of Saint-Martin de Limoux, yet another example of how you don’t only find gargoyles in big cities and major capitals; in any small town or village where you stop you can find a church or civic building with marvellous gargoyles that deserve to be admired.


Winged quadrupeds









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