St Paul’s Cathedral, London

During my time in London I really wanted to see St Paul’s Cathedral. It is one of those iconic places in the world that is known from the photographs and history books, and is well worth seeing if you are able. I was not able, or rather, I ran out of time. I did get inside the building, but it was more to find out how much it cost rather than going inside for a visit (£16.00 a pop). The “no photography” policy left me cold though so I did not pursue it any further, putting it off for another day and another time. What I did experience in my brief visit was a heavy atmosphere with the droning of a minister going on in the background and it put me off. So, my images are only of the exterior. I do however regret not going on the tour, 

One day I hope to do that tour. I am sure the building will still be there at any rate, after all, it survived the London Blitz.

*Update 08/06/2016*

Please note that the opinions in this update are strictly my own.

I visited the Cathedral in June 2016 and paid up my £16 for the experience of seeing the interior of the cathedral and it is truly magnificent, photographs will not go anywhere near doing it justice.  It is huge, the amount of artwork and sculptures in it is staggering, and the lofty heights of the dome seem to reach into the stars. It is a stunning building, however, I did not find it a friendly building, if anything I felt as if I was intruding on some much greater work and was not really worthy of being in there. The crypt was out of this world, but it felt cold and clinical, almost too perfect. This seemed more like a space where you crept silently along clutching your hat with eyes downcast. The tombs inside it are awe inspiring, but I found it hard to reconcile some of the words I read on some of the tombs with the history of those buried there.  It was really the sort of building where you could spend a whole day and come away feeling drained and I do not want to know how you would feel if you attended a service there. I did find the staff somewhat abrupt, especially the woman in the whispering gallery and again I felt as if I was intruding in a personal empire of the staff.  I did not stick around very long, although it started bucketing down shortly after I went inside.

I have visited quite a few cathedrals since I first saw St Paul’s, and they felt just that much more comfortable and accessible. I did not feel the same way in St Paul’s. Sir Christopher Wren created a fantastic building, and I wonder what he would have said had he seen it today. Make no mistake, it is probably the most stunning Cathedral I have ever seen, but it will never be my favourite.   

The Churchyard.

St Paul’s Cathedral does have an associated graveyard, although there is not much left to see of it. I never took a lot of images here and the few that I have are really just token images.  The churchyard was laid out as an open space in 1878 and it combines the ancient burial grounds of St Paul, St Gregory by St Paul’s and St Faith the Virgin under St Paul’s.  The three panels below may be found on the base of the plinth in the image below.

DRW ©  2013-2020. Created 13/09/2016. Images recreated 26/03/2016, updated 10/06/2016

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