London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of office of the Bishop of London, and is a recognized cathedral of the Church of England. It is dedicated to the Apostle Paul, and is a successor to the initial church built on the site which dated to 604 AD. The cathedral stands atop Ludgate Hill which is London’s point of highest elevation. It is also the Diocese of London’s mother church. The majestic building which stands today is a distinctive English Baroque construction designed by Sir Christopher Wren; it was an element of the extensive rebuilding programme commenced after the devastation caused by the Great Fire of London.
The imposing place of worship is considered to be one of the British capital’s best known and most renowned sights. Its iconic dome has graced the city’s skyline for three centuries, and remains one of the largest such structures on the globe. The 365 ft structure had the distinction of being the city’s highest building from the year 1710 right up to 1962. When comparing the size of the building, it can be seen that the Cathedral is the United Kingdom’s second most expansive church edifice, second only to Liverpool Cathedral.
St Paul’s Cathedral holds an important position in the national heritage of the people of Britain. Much promotional literature features the iconic building, and it is a common sight on picture postcards, with the dome of the shrine standing majestically in the fire and smoke of the German wartime bombing of London.
The interior of the building is as distinctive as its exterior, with a number of beautiful mosaics on its ceiling. These were created in 1890 in response to Queen Victoria’s complaint that the interior was not colourful enough.
Many very significant services have been conducted at the site, including the funerals of important personages, royal weddings and other noteworthy occasions. St. Paul’s cathedral remains a working place of worship, with regular daily services.