London St Paul's Cathedral

I still had enough time after my walk in Temple Quarter, so I walked on to St Paul's Cathedral. 

The Cathedral is surrounded by houses, so it isn't possible to take a photo of the entire building. 

The inside is really beautiful and monumental and of course, I couldn't take pictures here. (for this reason some photos are illustrations). There are guards almost at every point. 

 I thought, if I paied an expensive ticket, I want to see everything, from the basement to the roof. The cathedral was built on top of Ludgate Hill.

 It is the highest point of London and the Cathedral is the fifth largest church in Europe. The predecessor of today's church - the Old Paul's 
Cathedral - was built in Gothic style in the 13th century. A lightning struck the church tower in 1561 and the tower collapsed. The church burned to the ground during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The rebuilt Cathedral was handed over after three years of construction in 1669. The Cathedral is fascinating, so it's worth knowing some data.

The cathedral is 175 metres long, the nave is 28 metres high. The 31 metre 
diameter dome, is less than 11 metres smaller than the St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. The inside corridor of the dome is 30 meters high, which could be walked round. The circular corridor is called Whispering Gallery. 

The name comes from the fact, if you whisper something on one side of the barrier, I can hear it on the other side clearly. 376 steps lead up to the Stone Gallery and another 152 steps to the Golden Gallery. I climbed them. The reward is a full panorama of London on the top.

I'm sorry, but the view isn't so beautiful for me from above. I don't like it, when you are erect skyscrapers in a historical quarter or among centuries-old buildings. And the permanent constructions. 

You can experience in the whole city while you go on foot, but it's even more striking from above. Of course, you can interpret it as a positive thing, but it's very complicated to make a photo where a crane doesn't protrude into the picture.

From the 111 metres high dome you can see the whole London. A golden sphere is on top of the dome. It is 6 metres in diameter. The 17 ton Great Paul church bell is in the south tower, it was made in 1882. The chimes have been in the north tower since 1878.

 The cathedral didn't suffer extensive damage in the II. World War, the main altar got a bomb hit only, but it was restored in its original state. The first church organ of the cathedral was built in 1695. The composer Handel played its Messias oratorium in 1759 here. The present organ was built in 1870, 

They used up some old pipes of old organ. The largest crypt of Europe is standing underneath the whole Cathedral. Here was buried for example the former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill,

the inventor of penicillin Fleming, admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington here. 

The cathedral is the residence of the Bishop of London. Queen Victoria and Queen Elisabetht II. celebrated the diamond jubilee of theirs reign, Cahterina of Aragon (the future wife of Henry VIII. ) and Prince Arthur got married before the big fire in 1501 here, and Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer got also married here in 1981 here.                                            

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