About St Paul's Cathedral:
For over 250 years the towering dome of St Paul's Cathedral stood as the crowning point on London's skyline. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and constructed between 1675-1710, the structure rose to a height of 365ft and was only overtaken as late as 1962.
Though time may have heightened the surrounding cityscape it has done little to dull impact of this breathtaking Baroque beauty. Millions arrive each year to gaze up at the vast nave, to look out from the Golden Gallery, and to explore the famous crypts. This ticket includes access to the Cathedral floor, crypt and dome galleries, as well as audio guides and guided tours*.
*Guided tours for individuals and families subject to availability on the day.
- All Year Round.
- Except Sundays (worshippers only) and December 25.
- 08:30 to 16:30.
- The galleries open to the public at 09:30, and last entry is at 16:15. The Cathedral is only open to worship on Sundays.
St Paul's Cathedral Address:
- St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD.
Visiting St Paul's Cathedral:
Without a doubt the first sight that'll captivate your senses upon entry to St Paul's will be the 37 meter wide nave. This echoing expanse of gilded white marble stretches 68 meters towards the central area beneath the oculus. Have a slow wander between the pews or adjacent aisles until the full splendour of Wren's Pantheon-inspired dome comes into view. Gazing skyward you'll spot intricate decorations by Sir James Thornhill, most notably his eight painted scenes depicting the life of Paul the Apostle.
Directly east of the central area is the quire, a space normally occupied by the choir and clergy during services. Their beautifully carved seating rows are crowned at the western end by two massive organs, both of which form the Grand Organ, the third largest of its kind in the UK. Continue further along until your field of vision is entirely eclipsed by the vibrant apse and the high alter itself. Here the arched ceiling forms an astounding series of mosaics, each one depicting a certain biblical scene. The sequence culminates in an image of Christ, whose resurrected visage looms above the high alter as he figuratively overlooks mankind.
Other interesting sights to look out for in the main body of the cathedral are the monuments to Horatio Nelson and the Duke of Wellington in the south transept and nave respectively. There's also the WWI altar, the marble sculpture of John Donne, and the The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt.
Once you've got a feel for the cathedral as a whole you can either head up or down. Ascending takes you into the body of the dome, where you'll first encounter the Whispering Gallery. This ringed area at the base of the dome sits 30 meters above ground floor, and boasts a strange acoustic property whereby even the faintest of murmurs made against one wall can be heard by a listener on the opposite side. It's not unlike the famous Echo Wall at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Proceeding the Whispering Gallery is the 52 meter high Stone Gallery, and finally the 85 meter high Golden Gallery. Make it up the 528 steps to this pinnacle point and you'll be greeted by sweeping views of London's vast cityscape.
Descending into the crypts you'll discover the tombs of three renowned historical figures: Lord Nelson, Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren himself. Take a moment to contemplate the men and their contributions before checking out 'Oculus: An Eye into St Paul's'. This is a modern 270° film experience that dramatically summarizes the 1,400 year history of the Cathedral site.