Part 9: St. Paul's Cathedral


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The Trip

St. Paul's Cathedral is one of London's main icons.  St. Paul's church is truly magnificent with inspiring views available from the upper galleries.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

We saw plenty of nice cars while hiking around the city, but this was the only Rolls Royce.

Even from a block away, the church was imposing, so a tourist photo was indicated.

From across the street the full scale of the entry becomes visible.

Queen Victoria.

Photos were prohibited, so I had to be clandestine;  I will surely be smoldering in hell for these acts.  Note the intricate details on the ceiling.

The smaller alcoves had the same level of detail.

The main dome was actually several nested domes.

Note the inlaid marble on the floor of the nave.

The detail in the ceiling was breathtaking.

St. Paul's, like ever other proper cathedral, has a massive organ.  I feel a joke coming here....

The narrative audio guide repeatedly stated that St. Paul's is a "living church", so the presence of modern art should not have surprised me.  But it did.  I felt this was rather out of place given the context.  Not bad, just out of place.

The altar and stained glass windows were inspiring.

With the sun behind me, the colors and details of the inlaid ceiling become more visible.

There was gold leaf on the cast iron railings and wood panels.

Note the spiral columns.

Bright colors on the walls highlighted the roof.

One of the side chapels.

Truly stunning.

Another contextually non-congruent display.  This was live video representing earth, wind, fire and water.  We watched the whole cycle and it was somewhere between interesting and disturbing.

Most cathedrals have crypts, so this was not a surprise.

A very nice statue.

Another memorial.

The detailed marble work was impressive.

We climbed the spiral stairs to the "Whispering Gallery" and encountered this graffiti carved into the stone wall.  Note the dates.

From the gallery, we could see the entire nave, but it was too vast for my 24mm lens.

The gallery gave us a closer view of the chapel dome and now you can see the layering of the domes.  Through the occulus you can see the next shell.

We climbed from the Whispering Gallery to the next level and got an outstanding view of London.  The cranes leave no doubt about the scope of the local building boom.

Old vs. new: the classical church in the foreground versus the modern buildings in the background.

To the south we could see the Shard, the tallest structure in the EU.

On the Thames, we could see the Millennium Bridge and its unique structure.

We left the cathedral and headed for lunch.  Outside we could see up to the domes, but only the lower dome is visible from so close.

This statue was being removed due to weathering.

The grounds at St. Paul's provided a popular lunch location.

St. Paul's cathedral is a true wonder and one that must be personally experienced to appreciate.

Next: Lunch and a substantial hike to the HMS Belfast and the Tower Bridge.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2015, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.