Notre Denver: The good-luck gargoyles of DIA

Notre Denver gargoyle sculpture at Denver International Airport
A watchful gargoyle guards the baggage claim area at DIA

If you move through the baggage claim areas of Denver International Airport, look up and you’ll see two cast bronze gargoyles watching over the scene. But rather than being perched on the ledge of some gothic cathedral, these gargoyles are indoor, and comfortably sitting inside of matching cast bronze suitcases.


This is the “Notre Denver” sculpture, by artist Terry Allen.


And just like other gargoyles that were historically placed onto buildings to ward away evil spirits, these airport gargoyles also provide a protective service. But rather than guarding the area from spirits, they guard travelers against lost luggage. Their strategic placement near the baggage claim belts allows them to keep watch and help ensure that your bags arrive safely.


Is it a silly idea? A superstitious good luck charm? Maybe both of those things… but I like them. And you have to admit, it makes tedious airport travel more fun when you have a couple of benevolent creatures helping to ensure your journey goes smoothly with no lost luggage.


So far, I’ve had good luck with bags at DIA. So who knows, maybe this legend is true ;)


For more airport legends, check out the DENFiles.