Saint Paul's Cathedral and its panoramic view of London - London tips

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Located in the financial district of City, St. Paul's Cathedral is considered one of London's most iconic landmarks.
It is the only religious building in England crowned with an entirely Baroque style dome and its crypt is the most important in Europe. Finally, its majestic dome is the second largest in Europe, after that of Saint Peter's in Rome.

Magnificent, Saint Paul's Cathedral offers at its top an incredible view of London from where you can take beautiful photos of the city.

For the anecdote, the monument served as a setting for many films such as for example Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Mission Impossible: Fallout or Paddington.

History of Saint Paul's Cathedral

Built on Ludgate Hill, in the heart of the City, Saint Paul's Cathedral was built on the ashes of the Fourth Cathedral following the Great Fire of London in 1666. The reconstruction of the building was entrusted to the architect Christopher Wren who proposed to the Anglican clergy to build a cathedral in the Latin cross, combining baroque and classical styles.

The first stone was laid on June 21, 1675 and the work lasted until 1711, i.e. 36 years! Following the slowness of the work supervised by Wren, the parliament withholds half of his remuneration from him until the completion of his work!

Moreover, it is in this majestic setting that major events were celebrated. Let us quote, for example, the funerals of Nelson in 1806 and those of Churchill in 1965. But also the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1877 or the wedding of Lady Diana and Prince Charles in 1981.

The nave of Saint Paul's Cathedral

152 meters long and 36 meters wide, the nave is the most spacious part of the cathedral.

The Dome of Saint Paul's Cathedral

The top of the dome rises to 111 meters or 365 feet; 1 foot for each day of the year. The dome is the work of Christopher Wren who was inspired by the chapel of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris. We discover there paintings representing the 8 scenes of the life of St Paul.

Between 1864 and 1888, richly decorated mosaics depicting the major stages of Jesus' death and resurrection were added at the request of Queen Victoria.

The crypt of Saint Paul's Cathedral

Saint Paul's Cathedral has the largest crypt in Europe. A veritable pantheon, it houses 300 tombs and memorials including those of Admiral Nelson, Wellington, Turner, Henry Moore, Laurence of Arabia, Winston Churchill...

Whispering Gallery of Saint Paul's Cathedral

At 33 meters above the ground and after an ascent of 257 steps, the Whispering Gallery offers a magnificent bird's eye view of the choir. This “Murmures gallery” owes its name to its acoustic qualities: simple whispered words reach the other side of the gallery with great clarity. But you will have to arrive early before the arrival of the crowd to appreciate this phenomenon which requires a certain silence.

Stone gallery

The visit continues with the ascent of 119 steps to reach the Stone Gallery. From a height of 53m it offers a striking view of London.

Golden Gallery of St. Paul's Cathedral

Finally, the last level is the Golden Gallery. After climbing 152 additional steps, you will discover a fabulous panorama of London.
You can see the buildings of the City such as the shard, 20 Fenchurch Street but also the museum Tate Modern or the London Eye.

Useful information

  • The panoramic view has to be earned! Indeed, you will have to climb 376 steps to access and contemplate London. A word of advice, wear good shoes to better tackle the spiral staircases as well as the narrow and worn-out steps.
  • Caution for people prone to vertigo.

- Duration of the visit, approximately 2 hours

  • Audio guide in French
  • Photographs are not allowed inside the building with the exception of the crypt

Where to buy tickets to visit Saint Paul's Cathedral?

You can buy your tickets either on the site internet de GetYourGuide either on that ofBritish Tourist Office

. Take a look at the offers and compare!

The visit to St Paul's Cathedral is free for children less than 6 years old.

In addition, the visit is included with the London Pass, London Explorer Pass and London City Pass.

Free entry to Saint Paul's Cathedral

Like theWestminster Abbey, it is possible to enter St Paul's Cathedral for free at service time. However, you will not be able to walk around freely and you will not have access to the dome.

Finally, if you want to attend a service, choose the hours when there is the choir.

GOOD PLAN !   On the occasion of Lord Mayor’s Show, (usually the second weekend of November) guides provide free guided tours of St Paul's Cathedral.

Opening hours of St. Paul's Cathedral

The cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 16:30 p.m.

Closed Sundays for visits.

Where is Saint Paul's Cathedral located?

Address : St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD

Metro bus St Paul's 4, 8, 11, 17, 23, 25, 26, 56, 76, 100, 172, 242, 521

  Book on Visit Britain Book on GetYourGuide  

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