Sunday, November 17, 2013

St. Paul's Cathedral

It's another rainy day here so time to go back to London.  This is not the traditional view of St. Paul's Cathedral (check out Wiki for a classic view), but I think it gives a good idea of just how tall the building is.  Look up, look way up, and you will see the top of the dome.  It reaches up 365' (111m), and when you have climbed up to the top you really know that it's a tall, tall building.  A sign at the bottom of the inside stairs to the dome warns that people with heart conditions, pregnant women and claustrophobics should not attempt the climb.  Claustrophobics?  Oh, yes.  The upper staircases are very narrow, steep and sharply curved.  I had to stop periodically as I started getting a bit dizzy from all the turning.  It is also becomes a one-way venture when the stairway becomes too narrow for two-way traffic.  Once you proceed higher than the Whispering Gallery (the base of the dome), you have to continue to the top before you can come down.
Wonderful view at the top.  Well worth the challenging climb.

 Very different architecturally from Westminster Abbey.

 Lots of cherubs and flowers which are quite a contrast to the bold pillars, and overall rectangular shapes.
 Somebody in London enjoyed doing those curled, leafy carvings.  They keep cropping up.

People have been praying here since 604AD.  Wow! This building dates from the late 1700s.
We arrived at the Cathedral around noon, and were able to participate in a service.  The cathedral is the seat of the Anglican bishop of London so it was a regular Anglican communion service.  I really liked the way they set it up.  An area was roped off to delineate where the seating area for the service would be, but the service wasn't cut off from the tourists milling around inside the cathedral.  The tourists and the worshipers were happily sharing this amazing space.
No photographs allowed to be taken inside the cathedral but there are lots of good pictures online.
Absolutely worth a visit, either in person or via the Internet.


  1. It is a marvellous building! I spent my first 2 years in London working just opposite St Paul's - what a prospect.

  2. We were on a tour that rushed us in and out. I enjoy seeing the detail here. Glad you are still sharing from the London trip. A beautiful church and I would love to go back. Thanks for the history as well.