ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL
City of London
Full dedication: Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Became a Cathedral in 604
London's distinctive Cathedral stands at the highest point of the City of London on Ludgate Hill. A Cathedral stood here from 604. One of the largest medieval churches in Europe stood on this spot until 1666 when the Great Fire of London claimed it's highest profile victim.
However, great things emerged from the ashes and Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to designed a new Cathedral. Wren's designed was quite radical - a dome on a church is very unusual in Britain and without the support of Charles II the Cathedral might not have been built.
The foundation stone was laid in 1675, the dome - then the World's second largest (after St. Peter's in Rome) was completed in 1710 and the Cathedral was fully consecrated in 1711 by which time Wren was 79.
One of the interesting details with which Wren filled the Cathedral is a stone from the old destroyed Cathedral (found above the south door) which is engraved with the world Resurgam ("I shall rise again").
The only tomb to survive the fire was that of poet (and Dean) John Donne. Other great monuments to be found include those to Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and General Gordon - all of which can be found in the largest crypt in Europe.
Also in the crypt is the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren himself with the famous motto Si monumentum requiris, circumspice - "If you seek his monument, look around you". What more can you say?
Except, of course, don't miss the Whispering Gallery, the view from the Dome of the City of London, the view of the Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge and much much more.
Photos - Andrew J. Müller
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