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10 Facts About St Paul's Cathedral

  • What's On -14-Feb-2019

1. St. Paul’s sits on one of London’s highest points

Before the current St. Paul’s Cathedral, another cathedral that was built on the same spot by the Normans in 1240.  Unfortunately, this cathedral burnt down in the Great Fire Of London in 1666  after that, Sir Christopher Wren had a huge part of the rebuild of what we can see today. He rebuilt and designed the current St. Paul’s that is located within the City of London on Ludgate Hill, the city’s highest point – which can be seen for miles. The rebuild was completed in 1710.

2. The dome is amongst the highest in the world

St Paul’s was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967 and the dome is still amongst the highest in the world, at 365 feet (111 m) high. St Paul’s is the second largest church building in the United Kingdom after the Liverpool Cathedral.

3. The quietest whisper can be heard from across the dome in the Whispering Gallery

After climbing 259 steps up the dome inside the cathedral, you’ll come across the iconic Whispering Gallery. It runs completely around the interior of the dome. It gets its name from its iconic quirk which was quickly recognised when constructed. As soon as you whisper against its walls, it’s completely audible on the opposite side of the dome. Whispers cause low-intensity sound waves which are less susceptible to interference from echos and other distortions; this makes them easier to hear compared to loud talking. Or maybe it’s just part of the magical history of the dome… Who knows?

4. Martin Luther King once gave a sermon at St Paul’s Cathedral

Martin Luther King, the most iconic spokesman and civil rights leader of the 20th century, visited St. Paul’s four years before his death in 1968. In December 1964, Dr King was flying from the USA to Norway to collect his Nobel Peace Prize, and on the invitation, he decided to stop in London to preach at the Cathedral. On the morning of December 6th, 1964, he spoke in front of 4000 people from the Cathedral pulpit and delivered a special sermon called “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”.

5. Sir Christopher Wren, St.Paul’s architect was the first to be buried in one of the tombs inside

The man himself, Sir Christopher Wren was the first to be buried at one of the tombs inside St. Paul’s Cathedral. Deceased in 1723, the British architect laid to rest on his own masterpiece and was the first of many famous people in history to have the honour of burial there.

6. Many of Britain’s most famous figures have been also buried at the Cathedral

Many well renowned and famous politicians, writers, artists humanitarians and more have been given the honour of a funeral, burial or both at St. Paul’s Cathedral; Including Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

7. St. Paul’s has featured in many films and TV shows

You may or may not have noticed but you’ve probably already seen inside St. Paul’s on your screen before. It has actually featured in many famous films. You can see the Geometric Staircase in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you can also see the famous church itself in Lawrence of Arabia, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor, The Dark World and London Has Fallen.

8. There are still unexplored parts to the Cathedral

Unbelievably, there are so many parts to the Cathedral that are rarely seen by the public, and parts that are still unknown. Employee’s at the Cathedral have even been known to find rooms that they never even know existed due to how vast and complex the Cathedral actually is.

9. Suffragette’s fought for voting rights by attempting to blow up the Bishop’s throne in St. Paul’s

In May 1913, a Suffragette plot to blow up the Bishop’s throne at St. Paul’s was stopped. The failed attempt to blow up St. Paul’s was during the time when passionate members of the Suffragette female rights movement decided to turn more extreme methods in the hope of civil rights. Luckily, they didn’t get the chance to damage St. Paul’s and they were stopped beforehand when a bomb was found with a clock and battery attached under the Bishop's throne.

10. You can see inside

After all that, you must want to soak up the history and see it all for yourself. St. Paul’s Cathedral is open to tourists Monday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Admission charges may vary.  Also located very close is our Grange St. Paul’s hotel, so if you’re coming from while away, worry no more and make a weekend of it with booking a stay at Grange. When booking in advance can save you up to 12% off!  You’ll get to see some extra special views of St. Paul’s from our Sky Bar. 

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