Darth Vader at the National Cathedral

The Grotesque (Carving) of Darth Vader at the National Cathedral in Washington DC

The Grotesque (Carving) of Darth Vader at the National Cathedral in Washington DC

Included among the many, many grotesques (carvings) located on the National Cathedral is one of Darth Vader from Star Wars. The gargoyles on the building act as drains, as each gargoyle has a pipe running through its mouth. The grotesques are similar ornamental carvings but without the pipes.

Location of the Grotesque (Carving) of Darth Vader on the East Side of the Northwest Tower of the National Cathedral in Washington DC

Location of the Grotesque (Carving) of Darth Vader on the East Side of the Northwest Tower of the National Cathedral in Washington DC

Darth Vader is located on the back of one of the front towers, the tower on the left from the viewpoint of a person looking at the front of the Cathedral.

Pictured below are a number of other grotesques located in Darth Vader’s general neighborhood. The cute little raccoon looking thing must have drawn the short straw in order to end up right next to Darth Vader.

Click National Cathedral to see the StationStart.com entry about the Cathedral and its location.

Darth Vader Products on Amazon

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Star Wars Video Games on Amazon

Dan Brown Books and More on Amazon

Closest Metro Station: Cleveland Park on the Red Line is the nearest Metro Station to the Washington National Cathedral, but it is about eight-tenths of a mile away. That’s the approximate straight line distance rather than the actual walking or driving distance.

Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: Darth Vader is mentioned in Chapter 31, and the grotesque at the Washington National Cathedral is mentioned in Chapter 79.

These Grotesques are Some of Darth Vader's Nearest Neighbors at the National Cathedral

These Grotesques are Some of Darth Vader's Nearest Neighbors at the National Cathedral

11 comments

  1. I find these grotesques wonderful..True modern marvels that encompass the literary format of “The Odyssey”. Alot can be learned from 21st century Art! Finding the connections to Art History is the key!!

  2. Robert Strobel says:

    I wonder, how long Darth Vader has been hanging there?

  3. Aimee says:

    In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building. Preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls is important because running water erodes the mortar between the stone blocks.[1] Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall. When Gothic flying buttresses were used, aqueducts were sometimes cut into the buttress to divert water over the aisle walls.

  4. Gargoyles…Aha, no one knows their history. In the old times, huge buildings were being eaten alive with the rain runoff from the roofs. So.. The designers put pipes from the corners of the buildings so water would fall far from the building enough so as not to wash down its side. These protruding pipes looked like #^*@, so they put odd faces like you see on the Notre Dame Cathedral etc. The pipes made a funny gargling [now ur getting the picture] and the people called them “GARGLERS”, [Sounded like someone 'gargling'.] so they were called gargoyles, and as time went by, the artistry of the day was kind of a competition for these ‘garglers’…… Happy Grins.
    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing it allows you to know that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    Capt. Brian

  5. Lady Velvet says:

    Aside from the plumbing/structural reasons, there is this:

    Since literacy was generally not an option for most people, images were very important. Since the religious images (if any) that non-Christians were accustomed to were of animals or mixtures of animals and humans (e.g. the horned god, the Green Man), then putting similar images on churches and cathedrals would encourage non-Catholics to join the religion and go to church, or at least make them feel more comfortable about it, or at least ease the transition.

  6. cindy c says:

    neeto that is super

  7. THERRI says:

    THIS IS UNCALLED FOR,VERY BIZZARE AND SOULD NOT BE ALLOWED,WHAT’S BECOME OF OUR COUNTRY,,,,IT’S SCARY……

  8. THERRI says:

    It is bizzare and should be removed, if a picture of JESUS was there it would be removed immediately,

  9. Mark says:

    Why do they even have ugly gargoyles on these beautiful buildings esp. churches, like Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris? That is just bizarre.


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