St. Paul Cathedral is the most exemplary church of London, sitting at the top of Ludgate Hill, often referred as the highest point in London. The church was originally made in 604 AD on this spot. The present design of this architecture was designed by a British architect Sir Christopher Wren in a restrained Baroque style representing the rationalization of traditions of English medieval cathedrals. It took 10 years to finalize the design of this famous architecture.
In 962 and in 1087, the cathedral was ruined by fire, but it was then reconstructed in a new way. From 1710 to 1962, its dome is amongst the highest in the world having height of almost 365 feet and the cathedral is the second largest church building in terms of area, in United Kingdom after LiverPool Cathedral.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a busy working church having hourly prayers and 3 to four services in a day. One can see the postcard image of the dome standing tall, outlined by the smoke and fire of the Blitz.
How to get in here
St. Paul Cathedral is an iconic building of London. After stepping inside, one can enjoy its fabulous interior with the tombs and memorials of great heroes such as Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington get to know the fascinating stories about its history. The visitors can also try the aural quirks of the Whispering Gallery and the Golden Gallery to enjoy magnificent views across the City of London. The cathedral is near Cannon Street and one can reach there by various bus routes, a few of them are 4, 11, 15, 23 25, 26.
One of the best ways to visit the church is by taking a London Pass. London Pass is smart card that allows you for a complete cash free entry to over 55 London tourist attractions. One can easily book the pass online, choose the number of days and spend your most of the time in London.
A hop to the Cathedral
St. Paul Cathedral is one of the world’s most beautiful buildings with splendid medieval influences. From the exterior, the most remarkable feature is its dome rising upto 366 feet in height. The dome is the finest and one of the most perfect in the world.
The dome is pierced by eight wells below the lantern, which are hardly visible. They allow the light to penetrate through the openings in the brick cone, lighting up the shell from inside.
The lantern is a visible masonry of the dome with a square plan instead of a circular or octagonal plan, which makes it most notable characteristic of the structure. The total weight of lantern is almost 850 tons. Its lowest level is outlined by “Golden Gallery” and upper level basing up a small dome with a cross rising on a golden ball.
The lower storey of the church is having semi-circular heads and is bordered by Roman style embellishments. Some of the windows are of classical form and underneath every window are the floral decorations composing the finest stone carvings on the building with glamorous sculptures.
Worship and Music
St. Paul Cathedral is a symbol of presence of God in the world. The daily rhythm of prayer forms the framework of the life of St. Paul Cathedral. Visitors and pilgrims enjoy the daily prayers and services being done at the church.
In the week days, the services start with matins at 7:30 and a holy communion at 8:00 in a side chapel in the morning. Another Eucharist is said at 12:30 at noon in Dome Altar followed by an Evensong sung by Cathedral choir at 5 in the evening. On Sundays, a Holy Communion is said at 8, followed by Choral Matins at 10:15 and Eucharist at 11:30 in the morning. At 3:15 in the evening, a choral Evensong is sung with a Eucharist at 6 pm under the dome.
There are a lot of breathtaking things to see and discover at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Some of them are –
- Climb the dome
Ape up the dome for the Whispering Gallery and discover its unique aural. A whisper done on one side can be heard clearly 100 feet away. Climb up some more steps to go to the Golden Gallery at the top of the dome and enjoy the mesmerizing views across London.
- Go on a touchscreen multimedia tour
Discovering the fabulous videos of the dome galleries and close-ups of awe-inspiring mosaics and paintings under the cathedral will give a more close view of the St. Paul’s.
The multimedia tours also impart all about the history and architecture of the church.
- Discover the crypt
Delve into the Cathedral’s foremost burial place at the underground and unearth some of the greatest heroes including Si, Christopher Wren, the architect of the Cathedral with the fascinating tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
- Travel back in time through a captivated film experience
A documentary said as 270˚ film exhibition, Oculus; bringing 1400 years of history to life. Oculus takes you on a tour of the history and daily life of St Paul’s Cathedral. Virtual access films make the visitors feel that they are up to the dome and galleries without leaving the ground.