St Pauls Cathedral, London

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St Pauls Churchyard, EC4 0 20 7236 4128

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    St Paul's Cathedral

    by sue_stone Updated Aug 23, 2006

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    Recently voted the number one man-made attraction in London, St Paul’s Cathedral stands proudly in the heart of the city's square mile, and is one of London’s architectural marvels.

    Construction of the cathedral was completed in 1708 on the site of four previously destroyed cathedrals, the oldest dating back to the year 604. It is currently nearing the completion of extensive restoration in preparation for its 300 year anniversary.

    St Paul's Cathedral has been the site of royal weddings, and funerals of Britain's leaders. Its substantial crypt has memorials to military greats such as Admiral Nelson, whose remains lie at the centre of the Crypt, directly beneath the centre of the dome.

    The cathedral's huge dome is the second largest in the world (after St Peter's in Rome). Climb up into the dome to the Whispering Gallery, which is so named as if you whisper it can be heard across the other side of the dome. Ascend further to the external Stone Gallery or upwards to the Golden Gallery for fabulous views across London.

    When we visited the cathedral the dome was being restored so we were unable to get a close up look. Hope to return soon to have a proper squiz.

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    St Paul

    by smschley Updated Jan 15, 2008

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    A church dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD. The current Cathedral, started in 1669, is the fourth and was built after a fire destroyed 4/5th of all of London in 1666, destroying 13,200 houses and 89 churches (including the St. Paul's Cathedral).

    St Paul’s has been the stage for many important events in English history such as the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill; Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria, King George V; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth; the wedding of Charles to Lady; and the Golden Jubilee of the Queen.

    When you enter and see the dome from the inside it may look strange, it’s smaller and lower than you probably expected. Between the inner and outer domes is a brick cone, which supports the 850-ton lantern.

    Climb 259 spiral steps and check out the Whispering Gallery in the interior of the dome, it’s an acoustic marvel where even the faintest whisper can be heard clearly on the opposite side. Sit on one side, have someone sit on the opposite side, and whisper away. From there a second steep climb leads to the Stone Gallery, opening onto a panoramic view of London. Another 153 steps take you to the Inner Golden Gallery, situated at the top of the inner dome.

    After all those steps you are probably tired as heck and wondering why you even wanted to see the city from there. After the heart rate goes back to normal, snap a picture with you at the top. This will be a badge of honor and something to gloat about to friends who didn’t make it

    OPEN:
    Cathedral Mon.-Sat. 8:30-4, closed occasionally for special services;

    Ambulatory, crypt, and gallery Mon.-Sat. 9-5:15. Shop and Crypt Café also Sun. 10:30-5

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    St.Pauls Cathedral

    by mallyak Written Sep 17, 2008

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    St Paul's Cathedral, is the Anglican cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and is generally reckoned to be London's fifth St Paul's Cathedral, although the number is higher if every major medieval reconstruction is counted as a new cathedral. The cathedral sits on the edge of London's oldest region, the City, which originated as a Roman trading post along the edge of the River Thames.
    The cathedral is open to the public, with a charge for non-worshipping visitors. It is possible to climb the 530 steps to the golden gallery, where there is a fine view of London.
    We did not climb the stairs.

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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Don't feed the birds!

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    St. Paul's Cathedral having a facelift
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    A song always springs to mind when you see this magnificent Church "Feed the birds" from Mary Poppins. We wandered around the grounds first & were surprised to see roses still blooming in the little garden, when we saw a sign saying "Do not feed the birds" my friend remarked that Mary Poppins was illiterate! Then came the serious stuff of really looking at this place of worship. A Sir Christopher Wren masterpiece & where he was laid to rest. I have heard there is a charge for a tour here, but if you join in the service on a Sunday - it's free - take a seat - sit quietly & marvel at the magic of the interior - please observe the no photography signs & show some respect. We saw one tourist being told of for using a camera - it doesn't matter what nationality you are the signs are in pictures.
    Check out the web site if you would like to see St. Paul's interior.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Wren's masterpiece

    by toonsarah Updated Apr 16, 2014

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    Update April 2014: prices checked and corrected, practical information updated, new photos added

    I can’t quite believe that I have left it this long to write about St Paul’s Cathedral as it’s one of my favourite London sights! And to think that if it weren’t for a major historical disaster, we wouldn’t even have it! I’m talking about the Great Fire of London, in 1666 – the original St Paul’s was destroyed in the blaze and Sir Christopher Wren commissioned to design its replacement. Although in fact this is the fifth cathedral on this site – there has been one here since 604.

    When the Fire destroyed a large part of the city, Wren had the idea to use the opportunity to redesign it on what were then more “modern” ideas. His plan was never realised, but its centrepiece, a magnificent new cathedral, was. Although his initial design was modified several times, his vision for a grand domed cathedral on classical lines was broadly realised, though it took 36 years to build.

    Westminster Abbey may be the capital’s premier place of worship for state occasions, notably coronations, but St Paul’s has also seen its fair share. In 1897 Queen Victoria commemorated her diamond jubilee here, and Queen Elizabeth II has also celebrated her jubilees in the cathedral. Royal weddings have been held here as well, most famously (in recent years) that of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. State funerals that have been held here include those of Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and of the wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. I remember the latter well although I was only a child at the time – it was a very grand and rather sombre affair captured in detail on TV. There are monuments here to Nelson and Wellington, and also (among others) to Captain Scott who died in 1912 after his failed attempt to be first to the South Pole.

    The scale of the building is awe-inspiring, especially as you stand beneath the dome and look upwards. But don’t just look up – you can ascend the dome and it is well worth doing. You will need some stamina however, especially if you want to go all the way to the top. I have done so on a few occasions and the views, as well as the sense of being somewhere rather special, do justify the effort. But your first goal is the Whispering Gallery, 259 steps up from the cathedral floor. Here you can test the phenomenon that gives the gallery its name – even softly spoken words carry from one side to the other due to some sort of acoustical effect. From here 119 steps take you to the Stone Gallery, which encircles the base of the dome on its exterior. Already you can see the views opening up, but press on up the remaining 200 steps to the Golden Gallery, and you will be at the highest point of the dome, with views of the River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre among other landmarks.

    Back at ground level, do have a look at some of the works of art in the cathedral. Two of the most impressive are the painting by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Holman Hunt, The Light of the World in the North Transept, and Henry Moore’s wonderfully fluid sculpture. Mother and Child in the North Quire Aisle.

    You can also visit the Crypt, where you will see the tombs of the famous, including Nelson, Wellington, Wren himself and many more.

    The cathedral is open for sightseeing from Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm. The adult admission price of £16.50 (spring 2014 prices) includes all areas, while children (6-16) pay £7.50 and students and seniors £14.50. There are also family tickets available – check the website for details. On Sunday the cathedral is open for worship only and there is officially no sightseeing, but of course if you attend a service (see times here) you will get the chance to see inside (for free!), although not to climb to the galleries.

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Sir Christopher Wren's "Masterpiece"

    by deecat Updated May 11, 2005

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    St. Paul's Cathedral is a Renaissance Church and Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, which took 35 years to build. It dominates the North bank of the River Thames. Even though St. Paul's was bombed several times during WWII, it survived because of the determination of the fire brigade. After the war, the church was renovated and brought back to its former splendor.

    %(Note: The wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles took place here in 1981.)

    Visible from all over London, the church's dome is patterned after St. Peter's in Rome...this dome is St. Paul's most distinctive feature. It's really a "dome within a dome, supported by a hidden superstructure and crowned with a stone lantern."

    When I was inside and looked up, I actually had vertigo!

    Fortunately, it's possible to climb up for a fantastic view of London. There are three galleries around the dome to experience these views.

    St. Paul's also has the largest crypt in all of Europe. Appropriately, Sir Christopher Wren is buried here.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    St. Paul's

    by Dabs Updated Apr 13, 2005

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    View from St. Paul's

    St. Paul's is the second largest cathedral in the world behind St. Peter's in Rome. Although a cathedral has been on this site for 1,400 years, the present building, designed by Christopher Wren, was started in 1675 and took 35 years to build.

    The visit to St. Paul's includes a trip to the top with a stop at the Whispering Gallery on the interior of the cathedral and a couple more levels of outside viewing. There are 530 steps in total to the top but it didn't seem so bad being broken up into 3 stages.

    It is currently under scaffolding as the cathedral is undergoing renovations both on the exterior and interior. Photography is not allowed on the inside although you can take pictures from the outside galleries. It's almost impossible to get a decent shot of the exterior because of the surrounding buildings and scaffolding so I'm putting in a shot I took from the top.

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  • St. Paul's Cathedral

    by bthon Updated Mar 17, 2005

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    St. Pauls

    The Cathedral is well worth visiting even at the perhaps expensive rate of 7 pounds entry and an additional few pounds for the tour. I highly recommend the guided tour, as walking through the cathedral without any information is not only boring but also hardly worth the 7 pounds. The problem with the tour for many tourists is the length of time it takes, but it gives a fairly complete and insightful history.

    The dome is one of the highlights of visiting the cathedral. From the top, you can see most of london though the stairs are a bit daunting for some. Make sure you ask exactly when they will stop allowing visitors to climb to the top, as sometimes it is well before the closing time of the cathedral.

    If one isnt interested in the history or the dome, you still enter the church without paying the admission if you dont mind sitting through a service. Just make sure it is a public service and say that you are there for the service. you might also want to dress semi appropriately.

    You might also want to check the event calendar, as preformances such as Handel's Messiah are well worth attending. At the moment, visiting hours are between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm though these fluctuate with preformances, services, and the restoration they are conducting.

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    Climb to the Whispering Gallery

    by Donna_in_India Updated Jun 3, 2011

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    Inside St. Paul's Cathedral
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    St. Paul's Cathedral is located in "The City", London's financial quarter. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren and although he built more than 50 churches, this is his masterpiece. It is built in the shape of the cross and has one of the largest cathedral domes in the world.

    It is a really beautiful (and huge) church with several small altars on either side. Beautiful mosaics and stone carvings adorn the inside. I loved the center altar. It was seen around the world during the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

    We climbed the 259 steps up to the whispering gallery. The whispering gallery is up in the first dome of the church. You are supposed to be able to sit on one side and whisper to someone on the other side – 107 feet away. We tried and tried but weren’t able to hear each other at all but had fun trying.

    Filming and photography is not allowed inside the Cathedral.

    Tickets available online to avoid queues.

    Hours:

    St Paul's Cathedral is open for sightseeing from Monday to Saturday between 8.30am - 4pm.
    Last tickets are sold at 4pm and the cathedral closes for sightseeing at 4.30pm.
    On Sunday the cathedral is open for worship only and there is no sightseeing.
    The galleries are open to sightseers from Monday to Saturday between 9.30am - 4.15pm (last admission). Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult when visiting the galleries.

    Admission: Adults £14.50, Seniors £13.50, Students £13.50, Children (6-18yrs) £5.50

    Both guided and audio tours are available.

    Please note that all visitor information is correct as of this update.

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    St Paul's Cathedral

    by spidermiss Updated Jun 26, 2011

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    This cathedral was rebuilt after The Great Fire of London in 1666 and designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the early 1700s. This is one of my favourite cathedrals I ever visited and in 2009 I was glad of the opportunity to explore inside including the nave, the dome, the quire and the crypt where many important people are either buried of remembered including Sir Christopher Wren, Lord Nelson, Duke of Wellington, Florence Nightingale and the painter, JMW Turner.

    You pay extra to the visit The Galleries. You begin your ascent, 257 steps up, to The Whispering Gallery where whispers can be heard away at the opposite site of the dome. Another 119 steps up is the Stone Gallery outside where you can get amazing views of the London skyline including the Millenium Bridge, Tate Modern, Canary Wharf, The Monument and Tower Bridge. The final flight of stairs, totalling 528 steps from the cathedral floors, you reach the Golden Gallery for more panoramic views but higher up.

    There is a cathedral shop and refreshments.

    I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the cathedral and this is one of a very few attractions that I can return to.

    It cost me 11 GBP (January 2010) to explore the Cathedral including The Galleries.

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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    st. paul's cathedral

    by doug48 Written Jul 23, 2006

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    st. paul's cathedral

    st. paul's cathedral is a prominent landmark in central london. the original cathedral was destroyed in the great fire of london in 1666. the current cathedral was designed by christopher wren and rebuilt in 1675. the dome of the cathedral is second largest in the world after st. peters in rome. open 8:30 am to 4pm, monday-saturday.

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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    St Paul's Cathedral

    by fishandchips Written Jan 9, 2006

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    St Paul's - top bits only

    The current Cathedral was built after the Great Fire of 1666 and completed in 1710 to specifications by Sir Christopher Wren. It's one of the few churches in Europe where you are charged a fee to visit - approx £7 - and is a fairly gray and souless place. To avoid the fee you can go to a service which is really what the place was built for after all!! One of the highlights of St Paul's is its dome. Climb the spiral steps, all 259 of them, and check out the Whispering Gallery. The acoustics are brilliant with even the faintest whisper able to be heard clearly on the opposite side. The second steep leads to the Stone Gallery, opening onto a panoramic view of London. The last leg brings you to the Inner Golden Gallery, situated at the top of the inner dome - it's all downhill from here......

    A must do when you are here is a visit to the Crypt which has its entrance around the left side of the Cathedral. There is also a nice cafe and toilets.

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    St. Paul's Cathedral

    by kris-t Updated Feb 9, 2006

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    St. Paul's Cathedral
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    St. Paul's Cathedral has always dominated the centre of London. It is the work of the eminent architect Sir Christopher Wren. The present building was completed in 1710. It is an architectural masterpiece.
    Londoners have a particular affection for St. Paul's, which is the largest Protestant church in England. The place is often visited by numerous tourists who are shown the remarkable Whispering Gallery in the high dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.

    Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington were buried in St. Paul's Cathedral

    entrance ticket- 8 BP

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  • jelw's Profile Photo

    Look up then go down

    by jelw Updated Feb 27, 2005

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    St Pauls Crypt

    St Pauls Cathedral was first built in 604 AD.
    After the Great Fire, natural and Viking destruction, St Pauls had been rebuilt and refurbished many times. The Cathedral which now rests on the original site was the 3rd design labored over and submitted by Sir Christopher Wren.
    This is the Monarchs cathedral and as such has hosted numerous services of historical Import. Weddings, Jubilees and funerals. Peace Services after each of the world wars and a commenorative service after 9/11/01. Martin Luther King preached at St Pauls on his way to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.
    A tremendous Cathedral to inspect from the outside, the interior as well as from the bottom. Below St. Pauls is the single largest Crypt in Europe. So large in fact that amongst other things it contains a cafe, shop, restaurant, gallery (see the photo) and conference/banquet facility.
    This great momument is easily Handicap accessible on the south side. The elevator will take you down to the crypt as well.

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  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo

    St Pauls Cathedral

    by dejavu2gb Written Feb 18, 2005

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    St Pauls Cathedral

    One of the most beautiful cathedrals I must have ever seen is St Pauls, standing proudly near the River Thames.
    If you plan on visiting this landmark, you can climb up to the top of the dome and test the acoustics in the whispering gallery.
    The Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and was completed in 1710 after the predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London
    Admission Charges are £7 for adults and £3 for children.

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