The griffin of Chillon Castle

Do you know what a griffin is? If you’ve ever read Harry Potter, I’m sure you have a pretty good idea…

Ok. I’ll give you a clue.

Griffin in the Camera Domini at Chillon Castle

The griffin is on the left. It’s a blend of two animals; the body and the hindlegs of a lion and the head, wings and talons of an eagle. For people in the Middle Ages, it was a mythical beast. But a beast with a good heart. Just like in the J.K. Rowling books.

Straddling heaven and earth, over time, the griffin has become a symbol of Jesus who, according to Christianity, was both man and god.

At Chillon, you can see the griffin take on a dragon in the Camera Domini (room 19). Fights between a griffin and a dragon were often used in the Middle Ages to represent the battle between good (griffin) and evil (dragon).

10 points to Gryffindor!

There are plenty more griffins to see at Chillon Castle – just take a look in the coat of arms hall (room 18). You might find one hidden in a blazon or two…

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