They call them 'grotesques' (not gargoyles, contrary to popular belief). For over 800 years old they have watched over Paris, silent, stoic.
Like so many phrase before, 'grotesque' has been corrupted into meaning abnormal, sinister and menacing.
Why must this be? Must we assume they grimace when instead they might wistfully sigh at the beauty and horrors below? Who else sees as much of Paris as they and remain, through the centuries, constant and impassive?