7 Facts about the St Paul’s Cathedral
Do You know these 7 Facts about the St Paul’s Cathedral?
The St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most famous buildings. It is one of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals. Here are a set of 7 Facts about the St Paul’s Cathedral
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer Tied the Knot
Their nuptials were called ‘The wedding of the century.’ Prince Charles famously wed Lady Diana Spencer in the St Paul’s Cathedral on 29th July, 1981.
About 3500 guests were invited and 750 million people watched this fairytale wedding on Television. People were awed by Diana’s 25ft long train.
The couple had ditched Westminster Abbey because St Paul’s offered a larger seating area and was at a distance from the Palace. The bride and the bridegroom along with the Royal attendants could be paraded across the city for all to admire.
There are Two Domes Not One
The most ingenious architectural feature of this Cathedral is its dome. Not only is it the second biggest Dome in the world, it is also ground breaking.
Sir Christopher Wren designed a big dome for his masterpiece. However this big dome would be inconvenient from the inside. So a smaller dome was constructed inside the cathedral and the bigger outer dome acts as a shell. This was the first time the idea of a false dome was used for a building.
Christopher Wren is Buried in the Cathedral
Sir Christopher Wren is Britain’s most famous architects. Funnily he wasn’t an architect but a mathematician and an astronomer. At that time in the 17the century, the profession of an architect didn’t exist.
In the 89 years of his life, Wren designed 51 city churches. He also lived to see his masterpiece, St Paul’s. He superivised the construction of the cathedral for 35 years.
There have been 3 Cathedrals Before
St Paul’s finds its origins in 604 AD. A wooden church is built by the Bishop of the East Saxons. Unforutnately this church burnt down 71 years later in 675 AD. It was reconstructed shorlty after.
The reconstruction was destroyed by the Vikings almost 3 centuries later in the 1st century in 962 AD. This time, the church was not immediately rebuilt.
After further harm to the church in 1087 AD, the Normans rebuilt the chruch. The Normans wanted to created the tallest and longest Christain Church. This church took almost two centirues to built. They were finally done in 1240 AD with a cathedral which stood taller and longer than the current cathedral. This facade stood tall till 1666 AD. The caathedral was subjected to the Great Fire of London. The fire reached the caethdral two days later. Unfortunately the books and other flammable objects burnt the cathedral completely.
In the plans to rebuild the city, Sir Christopher Wren’s design was chosen. We see this cathedral today standing high on Ludgate Hill in London.
It is the Highest Point in the City of London
St Paul’s Cathedral is situated on Ludgate Hill. It is the highest point in the city of London. The mighty dome can be seen from the River Thames which runs across the city.
It Survived the Blitz
The Blitz were a series of bombs dropped on the city of London by the Luftwaffe during the WWII. Most of the city was badly damaged. Buckingham Palace was hit too.
Miraculously the St Paul’s Cathedral stood its ground. During this horrific time, the Cathedral is often described as a Phoenix rising through the ashes. An amazing picture of the St Paul’s looking striking against the smoke and falling city survives till date.
Winston Churchill’s Funeral Took Place
Sir Winston Churchill was Britain’s saviour during the WWII. He had led the country to victory as Prime Minister.
It was only befitting that he received the biggest honour when he died. He was given a State Funeral, something out of the ordinary for a commoner. More so the Queen herself attended the funeral. Generally the monarch never visits the funeral of a commoner. Furthermore she herself waited upon Churchill to be brought inside the Cathedral.
Churchill’s funeral was the biggest in the 20th century with 112 dignitaries from different countries attending.
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