Took a day off boat-hunting today and caught the train to Dijon, Burgundy's capital, just for a bit of a look round.
Now, as anyone who's been to France knows, many towns and cities have a Notre Dame, Paris's being the most famous. So it should come as no surprise to find that Dijon has its own Notre-D, which dates from the 13th century.
What is surprising however is the wonderful collection of gargoyles on the front facade. There's row upon row of the ugly creatures, all in various poses leaning out over the church steps.
Gargoyles were originally added to buildings as a way of taking water away from the building's sides. Water caught in the gutters would be directed out of the gargoyles' mouths and away from the walls, thereby reducing the risk of eroding the masonry. Apparently this is where the English words "gargle" and "gurgle" come from.
Curiously, the parade of gargoyles on Dijon's Notre Dame is relatively recent, having been added in the 19th century, and they don't seem to serve any plumbing function at all. But there are over 50 of them, so someone was very keen to have them there. Keen as mustard, probably :-)