The Great Fire of London (1666) left the medieval cathedral of St. Paul’s in ruins. The architect Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild it, however his design for a church on a Greek Cross plan met with resistance. The authorities insisted on a standard Latin cross, with an extended nave and short transepts, to focus the congregation’s attention on the altar. Regardless of the compromises, Wren created an impressive Baroque cathedral. Constructed between 1675 and 1710, it has been the setting for a lot of state ceremonies.
St Paul’s Cathedral is the final resting place of Sir Christopher Wren, whose tomb is marked by a slab. The inscription states, “Reader, if you seek a monument look around you” Around 200 tombs of well-known figures and heroes may be found within the crypt, such as Nelson (Battle of Trafalgar), Duke of Wellington (Battle of Waterloo), Sir Arthur Sullivan, Sir Henry Moore, Alexander Fleming, …
INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL
The cathedral’s cool, fantastically ordered, ornate and spacious inside is striking. The nave, transepts, and choir are organized in the shape of a cross, as in a medieval cathedral, however Wren’s Classical vision shines through floor plan, forced on him by the Church authorities. The interior is dominated by the huge cupola (dome).
Christopher Wren created an interior of grand majesty and Baroque splendor, a worthy setting for the various great ceremonial occasions which have taken place right here. These include the funerals of Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, and Sir Winston Churchill. Celebrated royal events have included the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.