London’s peak of architectural perfection
Prepare for one of the most splendid landmarks on our London bus tour. As you make your approach from Ludgate Hill, the glorious sight of St. Paul’s Cathedral bursts into view. Boasting the second biggest dome in the world, after St. Peter’s in Rome, it’s the most groundbreaking building ever designed by the acclaimed architect Sir Christopher Wren.
The history of St Paul’s Cathedral
Commissioned by Charles II, St. Paul’s replaced a Norman cathedral that burned down during the Great Fire of London in 1666. Since its completion in 1711, it has held funerals for Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. You can view a number of famous tombs, including Sir Christopher Wren’s, in the crypt. The Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana also took place here in 1981.
Climb to the top
Feeling fit? 530 narrow steps lead to the Golden Gallery at the top. Once on the observation platform, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of London’s skyline – which for centuries was dominated by this magnificent cathedral.
Other interesting facts about St Paul’s Cathedral
- The St. Paul’s we see today is the fifth religious building on the site. The first dates back to AD 604
- A bizarre acoustic effect in the Whispering Gallery allows everything said on one side of the gallery to be equally heard on the other, 107 feet (33 metres) away
- It’s home to the largest crypt in Europe, with over 300 tombs
- Walk directly under the dome to read Sir Christopher Wren’s fitting Latin epitaph: ‘Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice’ – ‘Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you.’