The magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral in London is undoubtedly one of the British capital’s iconic monuments. This splendid place of worship was designed by the renowned architect Christopher Wren and it is considered to be one of his finest works. St. Paul’s has the distinction of being one of the biggest cathedrals in the entirety of Europe and its huge dome is only surpassed by the dome of Rome’s St. Peter’s Cathedral.
St. Paul’s inherits an eventful historical legacy, as no less than five distinct churches have been constructed at its site. The initial place of worship constructed here was built in the early years of the 7th century and subsequent constructions on the site made the church larger and grander. The shrine which stands today was built after the existing church was destroyed by the Great Fire.
St. Paul’s Cathedral as it stands today is a truly breathtaking creation. Its massive dome alone weighs 66,000 tonnes and stands a majestic 111 m in height. The dome is supported by eight sturdy arches and it is surmounted by a huge lantern which itself weighs 850 tonnes. It is possible for visitors to climb right up to the pinnacle of the dome; to do so you must pass through three handsome galleries of which the highest offers spectacular bird’s eye views across the magnificent city.
The interior of the cathedral, completed in the Baroque style is equally impressive as its exterior. On the ceiling you will notice numerous attractive mosaics, which add to the majestic grandeur of the interior. Within the crypt of the cathedral you will find the tombs of a number of luminaries, including Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Christopher Wren and numerous significant artists.
Numerous important ceremonies have been carried out at the cathedral, such as the funerals of Admiral Nelson and Winston Churchill and the marriage of Prince Charles in 1981. The cathedral is always an alluring place to visit and never fails to awe the visitor.
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Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.