London Day 6: St. Paul’s Cathedral – Part 1


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.

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Ben purposely brought me to ride on Bus 15, an old fashion double decker bus.

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We got the front row seat.

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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.

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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.

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The above is the West Front and Towers; the main entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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Queen Anne’s statue stands on the forecourt.

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The door measures 9 meters tall and weighs 1 ton.

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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.

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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.

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The above structure is part of spiral stairway near the base.

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