St Paul's Cathedral is the Second Largest Cathedral in the World, After St Peter's in Rome
St Paul's Cathedral, with its world-famous Dome, is a popular tourist attraction in London. You can enjoy the cathedral's exquisite interior, and uncover fascinating stories about its history.
Explore St Paul's for yourself and try out the acoustic quirks of the Whispering Gallery, climb up 85 metres to the Golden Gallery and enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views of the capital and many London attractions, or take a quiet moment to reflect and contemplate. A visit to St Paul's will be an experience you will treasure forever.
St Paul's Cathedral was founded in 604AD. However, the present building, the fourth on the site, was built between 1675 and 1710. It is the second largest cathedral in the world, after St Peter's in Rome. Construction did not start until about 9 years after the Great Fire in 1666, which destroyed the previous structure. This earlier building, started in 1087, took 200 years to build and was even bigger than the present building, which took 35 years to complete.
The cathedral is the most famous work of London's greatest architect, Sir Christopher Wren (who was buried in it). However, the delay of 9 years in the building of St Paul's Cathedral was due to the initial building design not meeting with Royal approval.
Other famous people who were buried in St Paul's Cathedral included Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington (whose monument took 56 years to complete) and Sir Winston Churchill.
The cathedral miraculously survived the Blitz in World War Two when most of the surrounding area was flattened by German bombing raids.
In 1981, the Royal wedding of Charles and Diana took place here.
In front of the cathedral there are some wooden posts representing the last City toll gate, built in the thirteenth century. They mark the old route to Cheapside. The "gate" is now opened only during ceremonial occasions.
Hotels Near St Paul's Cathedral
Hotels near St Paul's Cathedral are conveniently placed for other attractions such as:
Tate Modern, opposite St Paul's Cathedral, is part of the former Tate Gallery's modern collection. It is the home of international 20th & 21st century modern art and includes major works by Dali, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol, as contemporary artists such as Dorothy Cross, Gilbert & George and Susan Hiller.
Mansion House, a rare surviving Georgian town palace, providing the Lord Mayor of the City of London with living, working and entertainment space. The construction started in 1739 and Sir Crispin Gascoigne was the first Lord Mayor to take up residence in 1752. This stylish Mansion House is the venue for city functions such as business meetings, dinners and banquets.
The Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City of London. The fire broke out in a baker's house in Pudding Lane on 2nd September 1666 and uncontrollably spread and destroyed a huge area of the city. It was finally extinguished four days later on the 5th September 1666. The Monument stands at 61 metres tall and provides a fascinating view of the City.
The Barbican Centre is Europe's largest multi-arts and conference venue. It has a diverse range of art, music, theatre, dance, film and education events. The London Symphony Orchestra has its home at the Barbican Centre. It provides entertainment for the convenience of the local residents as well as people working in the City.
The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdom's central bank. Learn more about the current role of the Bank - setting rates to keep inflation low, issuing banknotes and working with others to keep the financial system stable. There are many events and activities there including the taking of an audio tour and lifting of a genuine gold bar. Admission is free.
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