St Paul Cathedral

St Paul Cathedral, London

St Paul Cathedral today – the fourth, was built between 1675 and 1711 by Sir Christopher Wren. The foundation stone was laid in 1675 when Wren was 43 years old, and the last stone was put in a bind by his son 35 years later.

With its world-famous dome, St Paul’s Cathedral is a symbolic part of London’s skyline. After being destroyed 4 times throughout its ages, the current cathedral – designed by Christopher Wren – has lived through 3 centuries, and its dome is the 2nd largest in the world at 366 feet high.

History of St Paul Cathedral

A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has missed the City of London since 604 AD. The 1st cathedral was made from wood and was built for Mellitus, Bishop of the East Saxons. It was destroyed by a fire in 675 AD and was rebuilt 10 years later. It was destroyed again by Vikings in 962 AD and rebuilt in stone by the Normans. This third building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666 and was larger than Wren’s present building. It must have dwarfed the medieval city.

The current cathedral is the 5th building on the site of Ludgate Hill, the original church having been founded in 604 AD. The fourth, Old St Paul’s was a huge Gothic cathedral built by the Normans and regarded as one of the masterpieces of medieval Europe, with a tower and spire reaching a height of 489 ft.

Building and Architectural Facts

  • The exterior walls are Saint Cloud granite
  • The interior walls are American Travertine from Mankato, Minnesota
  • Height: 306.5 ft. Length: 307 ft. Width: 216 ft.
  • Seating capacity: 3,000
  • The seven bronze grilles surrounding the altar depict the human response to God’s grace. Since the Cathedral is devoted to Saint Paul, special recognition is given to him in the bronze masterpieces.
  • The chair in the sanctuary (the cathedra) denotes the Cathedral as the Archbishop’s church.
  • The Shrine of the Nations surrounding the sanctuary represents the national patron saints of the people who settled this city and state.
  • The main walls of the Chapels are finished in Italian Botticino marble.
  • The Ernest Skinner organ was installed in the sanctuary in 1927 and the Aeolian-Skinner organ in the choir loft in 1963.
  • The east-facing window is the Resurrection window. The south rose window takes its theme from the Beatitudes and the north rose window depicts the eight North American Martyrs. These windows are the work of renowned stained glass artist Charles Connick.

Opening Time

Once inside, the Dome Galleries are open from 09.30 – 16.15.




08.30 – 16.30


08.30 – 16.30


08.30 – 16.30


08.30 – 16.30


08.30 – 16.30


08.30 – 16.30


No Sightseeing – Open for Worship Only

9 Facts to Know About St Paul Cathedral 

  1. It houses some astonishingly big bells
  2. It has a designer apparel collection – but it’s just for those with an honor
  3. It’s a haven for Mary Poppins and Harry Potter fans
  4. Dany’s dragon visited. Well, sort of.
  5. It’s one of the most Instagrammable spots in London
  6. Martin Luther King Jr once read a sermon at the cathedral
  7. Admiral Lord Nelson is buried here
  8. It was the tallest building in London for 250 years
  9. The Suffragettes tried to blow it up.

What can you see inside St Paul Cathedral?

  • St Paul’s is packed with memorials to notable Britons including Christopher Wren, Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1804.
  • Christopher Wren died in 1723 at the age of 91. The Latin epitaph on his tomb is translated as “Reader , if you seek his memorial look around you”.
  • The cathedral’s biggest monument is that to the Duke of Wellington, depicting the Duke riding a horse.
  • The cathedral’s crypt is the biggest in Western Europe and extends the entire length of the building. There are over 200 monuments and memorials in the crypt.
  • Burials are no longer held in St Paul’s.

Tickets (online price)

  • Adult – £17
  • Concession – £15
  • Children (age 6 – 17) – £7.20
  • Families (2 adult + 2 child) – £41.20
  • Under 5’s – Free

Location Map for St Paul Cathedral

Hotels Near St Paul Cathedral

  • Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s
  • Crowne Plaza London – the City
  • Club Quarters Hotel, London, St Paul’s
  • Hilton London Bankside
  • The Hoxton, Southwark
  • The Z Hotel City


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