St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a popular tourist destination for various reasons. Its architecture is one of the motivations for many to come and see it up close. It is interesting to note, the current structure seen today is the fourth construction on the same location after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Hence, it would seem to exemplify England's resilience.
The English Baroque-style Anglican cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren stands on the highest point of London. Hence, it would seem it is keeping watch over the city. In return for its guardianship, Londoners have the utmost reverence and appreciation for the church and its legacy.
At approximately 560 steps into the cathedral, you will find yourself beneath the second largest dome in Europe. Its majesty would make you speechless as you marvel at the beauty of its mural decorations done by Sir James Thornhill.
Visitors can explore the dome and its three galleries - the Whispering Gallery, the Stone Gallery, and the Golden Gallery further. From the cathedral floor, climb 257 steps up to the Whispering Gallery. The acoustics of the dome at this part are incredible. So, be careful what you say here unless you want everyone in the entire cathedral to find out.
If you still have the energy to go up, take the additional 119 steps to the Stone Gallery. At this point, a spectacular vista of the London cityscape awaits you. It is guaranteed to take your breath away. But if you are not yet out of breath, then taking the extra 150 steps to the Golden Gallery. Rest assured your efforts will not be in vain as the view just keeps getting better.
But the beauty of St. Paul’s Cathedral also lies underneath. Its crypt runs the full length of the structure measuring 158 meters. Thus, it is the biggest of its kind in Western Europe. The tombs of a number of the city’s prominent citizens such as Admiral Nelson, Sir Christopher Wren, and the Duke of Wellington are found there.
While it might be the resting place for some of England’s heroes, are you aware the crypt is also a good place to enjoy afternoon tea? Moreover, you can enjoy a great Sunday roast in its restaurant. So, it would make an incredible story to take home with you. Chances are no one might believe you until you upload your selfies.
In addition to the restaurant, the crypt is also home to a theater where you can watch the Oculus. The experience of the 270-degree film is unlike anything you might know. Its content is equally engaging with information about the past of the cathedral as well as its architectural design.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a permanent fixture in the lives of the British people. In fact, it has played a significant role in the country’s history since its foundation in 604 AD. It hosted the funerals of Admiral Nelson in 1806 and of Winston Churchill in 1965. On a lighter note, it was the venue for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding in 1981.
To date, the church continues to hold daily services like the Eucharist and Morning Prayer.