2. The present Cathedral, the masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, is at least the fourth to have stood on the site. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and services began in 1697.
3. Here are some of the important services held at St Paul’s:
- Funerals of have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher
- Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria
- Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer
After the storm of a life lived in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm.
– This was the opening line of the Bishop of London during the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher.
4. St Paul’s Cathedral was the tallest building in London from its construction until 1962.
5. The Cathedral’s dome is the second largest in the world at 366 feet high and is reached by climbing 259 steps.
6. In the Whispering Gallery, you can hear a whisper on the other side of the dome (112 feet away).
7. Great Tom and Great Paul
In 1698, William III gave the bells from St. Stephen’s Chapel in the Palace of Westminster to be used for St. Paul’s. The largest was called Great Tom. Great Paul was cast in 1881 by John Taylor and Company.
8. St Paul’s has been shown in several films, including Mary Poppins, Sherlock Holmes and one of the Harry Potter films.
9. Sir Christopher Wren was the first person to be buried in St Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral’s largest monument is that to the Duke of Wellington, depicting the Duke riding a horse.
10. The cathedral’s crypt is the largest in Western Europe and extends the entire length of the building. There are over 200 monuments and memorials in the crypt.
11. It takes 530 steps to get to the top of the Golden Gallery. From the observation platform on top the dome of the cathedral, you can see the modern skyline of London.
Please note that taking photos inside the cathedral was strictly prohibited.
St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom
- Cathedral – Mon-Sat (9:30am-3:45pm)
- Gallery – Mon-Sat (9:30am-4:15pm)
- Crypt – Mon-Sat (8:45am-4:15pm)
How to get here:
- St Paul’s (Central Line) – 2 minute walk
- Mansion House (District and Circle Lines) – 5 minute walk
- Blackfriars (District and Circle Lines) – 5 minute walk
- Bank (Central, Northern and Waterloo & City Lines, and DLR) – 7 minute walk
- Buses stopping nearby – 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242