St Paul's Cathedral - London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 51° 30.819 W 000° 05.990
30U E 701229 N 5710935
Quick Description: St Paul's Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/29/2012 1:03:15 PM
Waymark Code: WMEGX6
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 38

Long Description:
The present church dating from the late 17th century was built to an English Baroque design of Sir Christopher Wren, as part of a major rebuilding program which took place in the city after the Great Fire of London, and was completed within his lifetime.

Wren's challenge was to construct a large classical cathedral on the relatively weak clay soil of London. Settlement of the foundations caused major problems, forcing Wren to change his dome designs as the work progressed.

The large crossing dome is composed of three layers: the first triple dome ever to be constructed. The inner and outer layers are catenary curves, but the structural integrity to support the heavy stone structure atop the dome is provided by a intermediary layer which is much steeper and more conical in shape. The dome is restrained round its base by a wrought iron chain to prevent it spreading and cracking. Further iron chains are in some stone bands at intervals in the brick cone and around the cornice of the peristyle.

The cathedral is built of Portland stone in a late Renaissance style that represents Wren's vision of a rationalised English Baroque. Its impressive dome was inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome and Mansart's Church of the Val-de-Grâce which Wren had visited. It rises 365 feet (108 m) to the cross at its summit, dominating both the historic and modern City of London through the Baroque device of axial perspectives or 'viewing corridors' across the cityscape.

The Whispering Gallery runs around the inside of the dome 99 feet (30.2 m) above the cathedral floor. It is reached by 259 steps from ground level. It gets its name because of the acoustic effects peculiar to domes; a whisper against its wall at any point is audible to a listener with an ear held to the wall at any other point around the gallery. A low murmur is equally audible.

The north-west tower contains 13 bells hung for change ringing while the south-west contains four, including Great Paul, at 16½ tons- the largest bell in the British Isles, cast in 1881, and Great Tom (the hour bell), recast twice, the last time by Richard Phelps, after being moved from St Stephen's Chapel at the Palace of Westminster.

The cathedral has a very substantial crypt, holding over 200 memorials, and serves as both the Order of the British Empire Chapel and the Treasury. The cathedral has very few treasures: many have been lost, and in 1810 a major robbery took almost all of the remaining precious artefacts.

Source: Wikipedia (visit link)
City, State or City, Country: London, England

Year Built: 1675 to 1710

Architect: Sir Christopher Wren

Webpage from GreatBuildings.com or other approved listing: [Web Link]

Other website with more information about building: [Web Link]

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