St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the greatest landmarks in the British capital. It’s located on Ludgate Hill, which is London’s highest point. It serves as the mother church for the London Diocese, the Bishop of London’s seat and the Church of England cathedral. The 17th century building design was signed by Sir Christopher Wren and is it the second largest Cathedral in the country, only surpassed by Liverpool Cathedral.
- The Dome – St Paul’s Cathedral dome resembles St Peter’s Basilica. However, unlike that one, St Paul’s dome features 2 storeys of masonry measuring almost 95 feet in height. It is one of the world’s largest cathedral domes. Visitors can climb the dome and experience the breathtaking views over London. The dome is painted with scenes depicting St Paul’s life.
- The Whispering Gallery – As you climb up the dome, the first gallery that comes to your sight is the Whispering Gallery. It was given this name due to the echoes (or rather whispers) heard on opposite gallery walls. The Stone Gallery is located above the Whispering Gallery. It’s located 54 meters (173 feet) above the ground and it offers great views of London.
- The Golden Gallery – This is the highest point of the dome, located almost 85 meters (280 feet) above the cathedral floor. You will have to climb 528 steps to get to this amazing gallery, but you will be rewarded for your effort with a panoramic view of the British capital. The view incorporates Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and River Thames.
- The Nave – This is the first thing you will see when entering St Paul’s Cathedral. It is the section that will lead you to the dome. This is where the large services and congregations take place. You will also notice the Great West Door that measures 9 metres in height and it’s only used on ceremonial occasions. This end of the church features 3 chapels: the Chapel of the order of St Michael and St George, St Dunstan’s Chapel and All Soul’s Chapel.
- Wellington’s Monument – This monument was erected in honor of the Duke of Wellington, one of the greatest statesmen and soldiers in Britain. The monument is located on the north aisle and was finished in 1912.
- The Grand Organ – Built in 1695 (although it was rebuilt a few times), this is one of the greatest artefacts in the cathedral and was constructed by Grinling Gibbons. It’s UK’s 3rd largest organ with 138 organ stops, 5 keyboards and 7,189 pipes.
- The Crypt – This burial place features the tombs and monuments of famous British people. The most notable are Sir Christopher Wren’s Tomb, Wellington’s Tomb and Nelson’s Tomb.
- The Chapels – St Paul’s features 5 chapesl on the ground floor: The American Memorial Chapel, the Middlesex Chapel, Chapel of St Michael & St George, Chapel of St Dunstan and Chapel of All Souls. The crypt also has 2 chapels: OBE Chapel and Knights Bachelor Chapel. All of them are used for smaller services, prayer and reflection.
- The Collections – Visit the cathedral’s collections to explore the history of this imposing building. The items have been carefully maintained. They include the library, the object collection (archaeological stones, paintings and models) and the architectural archive. For more info about the collections, visit the website.
|Family (2 adults and 2 children)||£40.00|
Online and group (10+) rates
|Family (2 adults and 2 children)||£36.50|
- Arts Programs – St Paul’s Cathedral hosts art collections and programs on a regular basis. Make sure you check their official website before visiting to see if there are any special exhibitions.
- Shopping – St Paul’s Cathedral also features a shop from where you can buy a wide array of souvenirs and gifts, including religious merchandise, jewellery, postcards, books and prints.
- Restaurant and Café – If you’re hungry or you want to have a coffee, you can do this at the Café or Restaurant at St Paul’s. The restaurant includes menus for afternoon tea and lunch.
- London Underground – St Paul’s station is the closest to the cathedral. You can get there by taking the Central line. You can also take the District and Central lines and stop at Blackfriars, Cannon Street and Mansion House stations. They are within walking distance.
- Train – The closest overground stations are Blackfriars (5 minute walk), Cannon Street (8 minute walk) and London Bridge (20 minute walk).
- Bus – There is a bus stop outside the cathedral. You can use the following bus routes: 242, 100, 26, 25, 23, 15, 11, 4.
The first cathedral to stand on London’s highest point was constructed in 604 AD. It was established by Saint Erkenwald or Saint Mellitus.
Between 1087 and 1559, the cathedral was enlarged and it also featured the Cathedral School. They were the glory years of St Paul’s Cathedral.
By the end of the 17th century, the cathedral was almost ruined and Christopher Wren was chosen as the leading architect for the restoration of the building. Unfortunately, in 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed both the cathedral and the crypt.
Between 1675 and 1711, Christopher Wren dedicated all his work to reconstruct St Paul’s Cathedral. It took 9 years of planning and at the end he came up with the masterpiece we see today.
Since 1711, St Paul’s Cathedral evolved with the social and industrial changes. It has become a symbol for London and the UK. Also, it is considered a modern cathedral, hosting frequent art programs and exhibitions.
- St Paul’s crypt is the largest in the entire Western Europe. It features more than 200 memorials and monuments.
- During World War II, the Cathedral was hit by German bombs, but none of them managed to destroy the building.
- The funeral services of Winston Churchill were held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The royal wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles was also held at the cathedral.
- Turner, Canaletto and Pissaro are some of the famous artists who painted St Paul’s Cathedral.