Basic Information

Name Translation: Gargler
Type/Species: Sea Serpent
Origin: Christian Legend of France

About Gargouille

The Gargouille was a terrible sea serpent who, one day, emerged from the Seine River and began to spew water about the country side. The Gargouille then created a great tidal wave, and whatever the waters did not kill, the dragon devoured for its meal. [1]

The word gargouille means 'gargler,' referring to this dragon's ability to spew water from its mouth.[1]

The archbishop of Rouen, St. Romain, intended to put a stop to the problem. The Gargouille lived in a cavernous lair in the banks of the Siene River, and he intended to travel there to stop the dragon from continuing its plague. [1,2]

No one wished to accompany St. Romain on his quest. Instead, he took with him two prisoners condemned to death1, or in some versions, one prisoner condemned to death who volunteered to go. [2]

St. Romain travelled to the lair of the Gargouille with his aid or aid(s), and there the beast attacked ferociously. All that it took to calm the dragon was the symbol of the cross made by two of St. Romain's fingers. [1] At the sign, the dragon fell docile, and the archbishop and his aid(s) bound the dragon by the neck and led it, quiet as a lamb, back to the local township. [2]

The people condemn the dragon to die by fire, since it killed so many with water. [2] The people burn the creature, and they cast the immense pile of ash it left behind into the Seine River, from where the dragon first had come. [1]

Ever since then, the drains that divert the rainwater from the roof of a church building have been decorated as monstrous entities and been called gargoyles. [1]

Physical Description

Gargouille was a sea serpent with membranous fins instead of limbs. [1] It has also been described with a long neck and slender nose with eyes that 'gleam like moonstones.' [2]

Related Articles


  1. Rose [Dragons] 133
  2. Dragons - The Gargouille

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.