The word Gargoyle comes from the word "gargouille", which is a French word for "Throat". There was once a legend about a fierce dragon named La Gargouille that lived in a cave near the river Seine. The dragon caused much fear and destruction amongst the residents of Rouen with its fiery breath, spouting water and the devouring men of ships and men. One day St. Romanus, to kill the dragon if the townspeople agreed to be baptized and to build a church.
La Gargouille was burned at the stake, and its remnants were then mounted on the town wall and became the model for gargoyles for centuries to come. Russell Sturgis, who wrote Sturgis' Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture and Building, defines a gargoyle as a: A water spout, projecting from a gutter and intended to throw the water away from the walls and foundations. Many believes that gargoyles served as protectors, keeping evil away from the buildings and their occupants and thus can be traced back 4000 years to Egypt, Rome and Greece. Many were terracotta water spouts depicting: lions, eagles, and other creatures based on Greek and Roman mythology figures.