It is hard to imagine as you stand at the top of The Shard or from within your London Eye pod, but for many years the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral was the most significant point on the London skyline. As late as 1963 it was still the tallest building in London as it had been since 1710.
Sir Christopher Wren
The current Grade I listed St Paul’s Cathedral is the work of Sir Christopher Wren, and was built from 1675-1710, although consecrated in 1697. The current building is the fifth church on the site – the first was built in 604. Designed in the English Baroque style, St Paul’s was part of the reconstruction of London following the Great Fire of London (1666), in which the Old St Paul’s was ruined. It is the second largest church building in the UK, after Liverpool Cathedral. The famous dome was based on Michelangelo’s St Peter’s Basilica, Rome.
Over the years St Paul’s has seen the funeral ceremonies of Nelson, Wellington, Churchill and Thatcher, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as services to mark the end of both World Wars.
Tickets for St Paul’s Cathedral
Tickets cost £20 for tourists, but services are free. They can be bought here. Although there is a £20 charge for tourists, as this is still a working church, entry to services is free.
Getting to St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s (Central Line) is the nearest tube station, barely 100 metres away. City Thameslink is the nearest Overground station.
Although St Paul’s is in the heart of the City of London, one of the most pleasant ways of approaching it is from the south across the Millennium Bridge. You can combine this with a Southbank London walk. Alternatively, St Paul’s is also close to the Barbican Centre, the largest performing arts centre in Europe.