Cathedral Church of St. Paul the Apostle
This is the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. The cathedral is one of the most famous and recognisable landmarks in London. The cathedral is the second largest church building in area after Liverpool Cathedral.
There has been a cathedral on this site since 604 and the current St. Paul’s is the fifth. It was built between 1675-1711 in the English Baroque style by the architect, Sir Christopher Wren. It has been the site for many services of national importance for the United Kingdom. Services of Thanksgiving for HM the Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee’s have been held here along with the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill.
The cathedral is built in the shape of a Greek Cross with a large dome crowning the intersection of it’s arms. This is quite unique in English cathedrals. The dome rises to a height of 111.3m amongst the highest in the world and weighs around 65,000 tons. It is actually a three dome structure with the middle brick cone which provides the strength and support to the stone lantern above.
The quire was the first part of the cathedral to be built and consecrated. The organ case and the stalls on both sides of the quire were carved by the renowned Anglo-Dutch sculptor, Grinling Gibbons. The mosaics that decorate the ceiling and walls were installed in 1896-1904. The present high altar and baldacchino date from 1958.