St Paul's Cathedral

London, England, United Kingdom
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Perched on Ludgate Hill at the highest point in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Heritage-listed Anglican cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of London. A church was first founded on the site in 604 AD, although the present cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 17th century. It was constructed as part of a major rebuilding program following the Great Fire of London and stands as one of the most iconic landmarks in the city today.

St Paul's Cathedral is famed as having one of the highest domes in the world, which has dominated the skyline of London for more than 300 years. It was here that the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington took place, as well as being the setting for the jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria and the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Hourly prayers and daily services are held at St. Paul’s Cathedral for worshippers while tourists are welcome to enter for a fee.

St Paul's Cathedral is designed in a Baroque style, with Christopher Wren having drawn on influences from his travels in Italy and France where he studied the architectural work of François Mansart. Until the end of the 20th century, it stood as the tallest building on London’s skyline and was designed to be viewed surrounded by the spires of the other churches Wren designed in the city. Its dome is said to have been inspired by Michelangelo's dome of St Peter's Basilica and the Church of the Val-de-Grâce by Mansart.

The interior is adorned with sculptures by Grinling Gibbons and metalworks by Jean Tijou while the dome features paintings by Thornhill. More than 200 memorials and burials are housed within the crypt, including the tomb of Christopher Wren who was the last person to be interred in the cathedral he built. One of the largest monuments in the cathedral is that of the Duke of Wellington who is depicted astride his horse “Copenhagen”.

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