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We had a little “introduction” tour from one of the Friend’s of St. Paul’s. She told us that Old St. Paul’s burned down in The Great Fire of 1663 and the current day St. Paul’s was designed by Christopher Wren and constructed in a mere 32 years. It was very rare for the architect to see a large project like this completed in their lifetime. It is also the first Cathedral to have a dome and now it is one of the largest Cathedral with a dome in the world.

St. Paul’s was designed in the shape of a cross (birds eye view) with the dome in the centre of the intersecting arms, and with sombre Baroque decoration. But during the Victorian Era, more decoration and fancy Anglican depictions were added.

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During The Blitz there was a group of dedicated individuals called The Bomb Squad and they ran around St. Paul’s dousing bombs (10-second delays) with water. One bomb didn’t detonate and was found 3 days later right next to St. Paul’s. When it was detonated at a safe location some days later, it left a crater 100 feet wide.

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St. Paul’s also has a crypt below with many famous people interred; including Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington, John Donne, and even Christopher Wren himself. While the more famous heroes have very lavish monuments, Wren’s simply says If you seek his monument, look around you, and it was written by his son. Learn More at Wikipedia…

NO PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED WITHIN ST.PAUL’S CATHEDRAL … however, when you climb up to the Stone and Golden Galleries, you are allowed to take photos of the view of London.

The Whispering Gallery: 259 steps up (still inside the Cathedral)

When we got up to the Whispering Gallery (the whole intention of the trip) and I was so out of breath because of my asthma. Once we’d sat and rested for a bit, I walked to the opposite side of the Gallery and we both leaned against the walls. It was a bit busy so I had to say fairly loudly (to the wall at an angle) “Hello CW” until he heard it on the other side… but it did work in the end!

The Stone Gallery: another 119 steps up (total: 378 steps)

We emerged outside of the Cathedral and were prompty informed that the doors to access the Golden Gallery will be closing soon. We barely stop for a couple photos of the view before we are headed up again.

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The Golden Gallery: another 152 steps up (grand total: 530 steps)

What a gorgeous view of London from up here.

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