We dedicated day 6 to two main attractions. Our first destination was St. Paul’s Cathedral, a Church of England cathedral. It is the seat of the Bishop of London.
Ben purposely brought me to ride on Bus 15, an old fashion double decker bus.
We got the front row seat.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Christopher Wren. It took 9 years to get his design approved and it took 36 years to build. The current location had been occupied by 3 or 4 cathedrals.
Three historical funerals and a wedding took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The funerals were for Nelson, Wellington and Churchill. The wedding was Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s. A recent funeral that took place here was Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
The above is the West Front and Towers; the main entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Queen Anne’s statue stands on the forecourt.
The door measures 9 meters tall and weighs 1 ton.
The ticket counter; like most churches, photography is not allowed inside the church. The London City Pass includes the entrance fee for St. Paul’s Cathedral. We opted for a 90 minutes guided tour which is highly recommended. The guided tour allows us to visit chapels that are not accessible by audio guide tour.
A few things that I recollected from the tour was:
- the largest piece of memorial in the church is the Wellington Memorial which took 54 years to complete construction
- St. Paul’s Cathedral suffered minor damage from World War II but was saved by the St. Paul’s watchers guarding the church
- there is a Memorial for American soldiers but not Canadian
- one of the high light is the Whispering Gallery where its unusual acoustics cause whispers to echo around the dome
- the Crypt is where tombs of famous figures and popular heroes like Lord Nelson can be seen. It is not as crowded as the Westminster Abbey.
- the church has long nave which is Anglican style
- the church had undergone cleaning due to dilapidation. The cleaning was sponsored the grandfather of Ian Fleming; the author of James Bond novel. The cleaning process took 15 years.
This is the only area where we were allowed to take photograph. It’s a spiral staircase inside a cylindrical tower inside a rectangular outside tower. The spiral staircase was featured in Harry Potters and James Bond movies.
The above structure is part of spiral stairway near the base.