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Flickr photo of the day: La Chimère de Notre-Dame

Compass

If this 700-year-old chimera really could see, it would have seen a lot. Perched, as it were, on a rampart of Notre Dame Cathedral, it has stared down on the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, La Révolution and a million boats all passed beneath its stony gaze. The chimera watched as the first gaudy hot air balloon drifted over Paris and heard the new sound of the motorcar and the aeroplane.

On a hot third day of June in 1940, the chimera stood fast as German bombers rained their destructive cargo on the City of Light. Five years later, the jubilant sounds of V-E Day wafted up to its tower.

The chimera posed for photographer Anthony Gelot near sunset on December 4, 2011. (Gargoyles are mere waterspouts. Chimeras are scary.)

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