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St Paul's Cathedral
Wren's masterpiece and oldest classic dominant symbol of London.
Location: The Chapter House, St Paul's Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD
Description: A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD, a constant reminder to this great commercial centre of the importance of the spiritual side of life.
The current Cathedral the fourth to occupy this site was designed by the court architect Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Its architectural and artistic importance reflect the determination of the five monarchs who oversaw its building that Londons leading church should be as beautiful and imposing as their private palaces.
Important services have included the funerals of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill; Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria; peace services marking the end of the First and Second World Wars; the launch of the Festival of Britain; the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for the 11th September 2001: the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, most recently, the thanksgiving services for both the Golden Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
Today, the history of the nation is written in the carved stone of its pillars and arches and is celebrated in its works of art and monuments.
In the crypt are effigies and fragments of stone that pre-date the Cathedral, relics of a medieval world. From Wrens original vision, Jean Tijous beautiful wrought iron gates of 1700 still separate the quire from the ambulatory; children still test the acoustics in the Whispering Gallery; and the 1695 organ which Mendelssohn once played is still in use.
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St John's Churchyard», 1.7km
St George in the East», 1.6km
St Patrick's Church and Tunnels», 1.4km
St Mary Aldermary», 0.2km
Religious Phrase With A Twist», 1.6km
St Nicholas' Church», 3.9km
Oldest Church in London?», 0.5km
The Union Chapel», 2.1km
The Holy Trinity and Clowns», 2.4km
A Pyramid in Limehouse», 2.8km