Who Designed St. Paul’s Cathedral?


The famous cathedral of St. Paul, dominating the City of London from its position on the top of Ludgate Hill, raises its huge dome far above most of the surrounding buildings.

Long before Christianity came to this country, a temple dedicated to Diana is supposed to have stood on the site now occupied by the Cathedral. Ethelbert, the King of Kent, is known to have built a great Christian Church there, at some time during the seventh century, but this was destroyed soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066, to make room for “Old St. Paul’s”.

This building is said to have been longer and higher than the present buildings; but “Old St. Paul’s” was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. For Sir Christopher Wren, the tragic Great fire provided a great opportunity. Four months before the disaster, he had submitted designs for the re-modelling of the old cathedral, but the as great church had been almost totally destroyed, he was asked to design a new cathedral.

His own favorite design, however, was very different from the one eventually adopted. The most imposing feature of the cathedral, which took thirty-five years to complete, is the dome. It consists of a large outer dome and a much lower inner dome.

Between, these two domes, a hollow cone of brickwork supports the lantern, ball and cross. The cross is 111 meters above the ground. In the Whispering Gallery, which runs around the inside of the inside of the dome, a whisper near the wall at one side can be distinctly heard on the other side. over thirty meters away.

The hollow golden ball, beneath the cross, is nearly two meters across and can hold ten people. The tombs of many famous men, including Nelson, Wellington and Wren himself are honored there.

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