St. Paul's Cathedral, London: A Journey Through Time -
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on

Hi, Guest!
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles
12 Tips to Hotel Bliss
Assateague Island National Seashore
Back To Barcelona
Bellagio of Las Vegas
Bonaire, Antilles
Cairo, Egypt
Cape Cod
Carcassonne, France
Carlsbad Caverns
Chateau de Chenonceau
Chincoteague, Virginia
Costa Blanca
Discovery Cove
Disney on Broadway
Disney's Magical Express
Disneyland Paris
Exploring Chicago's Museums
Flying Premium Economy
Geneva, Switzerland
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Grotte de Pech-Merle, France
Harvard University
Hastings, England
Hersheypark, Pennsylvania
Hever Castle
Hiroshima, Japan
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates
Kauai, Hawaii
Kennedy Space Center
Key West
Lake Constance, Switzerland
Lake Powell
Lake Thunersee, Switzerland
Learning the Language
London, England
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Making Your Way by Ferry to the Magic in Disneyland Paris
Managing Memories
Miami, Florida
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montserrat, Spain
More of Hilton Head Island
Mount Fuji & Hakone, Japan
My Quest for the West
New Orleans Revisited
Nikko, Japan
One Place is Never Enough!
Palacio Real
Palm Beach, Florida
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Portsmouth, England
Rocamadour, France
Seattle, Washington
Serendipity 3 in New York City
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
Star Wars in Concert
Taking to the Road
The 'Other' Jersey
The Billie Swamp Safari Park
The Egyptian Museum
The Gardens of Versailles
The Green Heart of the Big Apple
The Manatee Tour
The Palace of Versailles
The Pyramids of Giza
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tired, Tried And True
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo, Japan
Traveling the Northern Oregon Coast
Valencia, Spain
Valley of Fire
Viewing Cities From Above
Visiting the French Alps
Willcox, Arizona
Wimbledon Tennis Museum
You Don't Have to Cruise to See Alaska
Zurich, Switzerland

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Visit Forum

St. Paul's Cathedral, London: A Journey Through Time

International Travel photo
by Sue Kulick, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 02/12/2009

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > International Travel > General Travel  

Some of London's most stunning architecture can be found in the beauty and glory of her cathedrals. And one of her most glorious examples is the St. Paul's Cathedral.

St. Paul's iconic dome rises high into the blue sky, serenely looking down on a bustling city. The current church is the fourth to stand on this site. It was designed by noted architect Sir Christopher Wren, and was built between 1675 and 1710. The beauty of this church is breathtaking, both inside and out.

The history of the church dates back to 604 A.D., when the first cathedral was built. Since then, it has seen many momentous events, including the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, and the thanksgiving service for the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and the Golden Jubilee celebration.

Our visit was in May, and it coincided with the blooming of the spring flowers. As you approach the cathedral, you are surrounded by tulips in the most stunning colors. The cathedral looms ahead of you, causing you to look up into the brilliant blue sky at the finely sculpted facades. You feel a sense of welcoming peace, even before you enter the doors. As soon as you enter, the hustle and bustle of the outside world fall away, and you are in a quiet and reverent environment where you can sense the inner peace.

St. Paul's architectural design continues inside. The dome visible from the outside soars upward in a graceful curve of golden radiance. The mosaics, requested in the mid 19th century by Queen Victoria, are, to quote from the cathedral's own web site, "magnificent." The polished tile floors, the crypts, the memorials, and the chapels all add to the power and glory of St. Paul's.

Rome's Colosseum photo
Rome's Colosseum

- photo by KimMomsPanel

Once you are done taking in the main sacristy, you may climb the stairs for even more beauty. The first level, which is about 250 old stone steps up, takes you to the Whispering Gallery. This is a round walkway that overlooks the sanctuary. You can gaze down at the world below, or you can test the acoustics. In this fabled gallery, if you whisper just the right way into the wall, your voice and message will be carried around the wall to waiting ears. The guards who stand watch can do this with ease, while the tourists have a bit of a hard time with it.

The second level of the climb takes you to the Stone Gallery. This is an outdoor gallery that circles the dome. The view of London from up here is indescribable. Breathtaking and stunning only begin to describe the incredible 360-degree view of all points of the city.

If you are truly intrepid, there is a third level that takes you even higher. We did not attempt this climb.

Photography is not permitted in the church, as it is a working and active sanctuary. Services are held daily, including Matins, Eucharistic services, and Evensong. You may also be surprised, as we were, to learn that you can hire a room or a wing in the cathedral to hold an event, from a simple meeting to a sit down dinner for up to 250 guests.

St. Paul's is also a place where people feel free to come and debate current issues. This is taken directly from their web site:

"For hundreds of years, people gathered at Paul's Cross in the cathedral's churchyard to debate the great issues of the day. Since 2002, thousands have gathered inside St Paul's to join in debates on key issues we face today.

Our vision is to stimulate dialogue on contemporary issues within the church and also to bring a theological voice to wider current debate.

Recent themes include global poverty, climate change, globalization, and contemporary childhood, with speakers including Gordon Brown, Jeffrey Sachs, Camila Batmanghelidjh, Michael Morpurgo, Rowan Williams, Kofi Annan, Shirley Williams, and David Attenborough. Events are open to people of all faiths and none."

This year, St Paul's is presenting a program called "For Richer, For Poorer, How money shapes our lives."

Admission to St. Paul's is 11 pounds for adults, 3.50 for children. The cathedral is open every day (except Sunday) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

St. Paul's is a must see for every visitor to London. You will come away with a new respect for history and how important a role churches like St. Paul's shaped the very foundations of the city.

Private Cabana at Castaway Cay photo
Private Cabana at Castaway Cay

Cabana Photo by Nancy Swope - photo by Belle*

About the Author:
Sue Kulick is a resident of the Pocono Mountains and an avid Disney fan. She and her husband, Steve, live in a log home with their Golden Retrievers, Cody and Belle and their cat Tigger.

Related Links:
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 02/12/2009 - Article #57 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by

Copenhagen ?
by Pris
23 Jan 2015 at 6:29pm
DH and I are sailing on our Disney cruise out of Copenhagen. We will be there 1 1/2 days before the cruise. I'm looking at possibly the canal tour...
(click title above to view replies)

Debating..... any advice?
by Alaskan Mom
22 Jan 2015 at 4:55pm
Am deep into planning Europe trip for DD's high school graduation trip and am trying to decide whether to take 4-5 out of 11 days in UK to travel on...
(click title above to view replies)

savings support group?
by Coreada
6 Jan 2015 at 3:37pm
We're saving up for a trip to Disneyland Paris (and possibly Hong Kong), and on my fixed income, the prospect is *daunting*. Is anybody else in this...
(click title above to view replies)

Hawaii Input Appreciated
by SheLovesAriel
3 Jan 2015 at 11:21pm
It looks like our next major trip will be to Hawaii for 2016 - thinking summer time frame; I guess this is a low crowd time of year? We are just...
(click title above to view replies)

What are your 2015 travel plans?
by chezp
1 Jan 2015 at 5:33am
As we're just starting a new year, what are your travel plans, big or small, for the next 12 months? We're making three trips to America this...
(click title above to view replies)

looking for hotel in Chicago
by oldmom
30 Dec 2014 at 12:50pm
We will be taking the train into Chicago and are looking for a hotel that is close to Union Station, possibly close walking distance. However, I...
(click title above to view replies)

Airfare to Hawaii
by Salty
30 Dec 2014 at 12:26pm
Not sure where to post this but on Thursday we can book Aulani for August! I've started looking at airfare from NY and I'm wondering if $856 round...
(click title above to view replies)

First time to London/Paris
by WDW1102
27 Dec 2014 at 9:46am
We are starting to plan our first trip to London/Paris. I am looking for a planning guide similar to Passporter. It helped me so much when I planned...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 3391

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.