St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral on Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the seat of the Bishop of London.
The present building dates from the 17th century and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The cathedral is one of London's most famous and most recognisable sights. At 365 feet (111m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1962, and its dome is also among the highest in the world .
St Paul's Cathedral today is a busy working church. Daily services are held every day to which all are welcome to attend. Whilst the Cathedral charges for those who wish to sightsee, it does not charge for people who want to worship. Those attending services at St Paul's do so at no cost. People seeking a place to be quiet and pray are admitted to the St Dunstan's Chapel free of charge. Admission on Sundays for all services is free and there is no sightseeing.
The Royal Family holds most of its important marriages, christenings and funerals at Westminster Abbey, but St Paul's was used for the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. The religious service for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee was also celebrated there. In 2001, Britain's memorial service to honour the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks was held at the cathedral, attended by the Royal Family Westminster Abbey The marriage of prince Charles and Lady Diana at St. Paul’s Cathedral
It is possible to climb the 530 steps to the Golden Gallery, where there are panoramic views of London from 280 ft above.
In 2000, the cathedral began a major restoration programme to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its 'topping out'. The restoration programme cost £40 million, and involves repair and cleaning of the building, and improvement of visitor facilities, such as accessibility for the disabled, and provision of additional educational facilities. The programme of cleaning and repairs will be finished by 2011. Interior view
The cathedral is built of Portland stone in a late Renaissance style . Its impressive dome was inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome. It rises 365 feet (108 m) to the cross at its summit, making it a famous London landmark.
This cathedral has survived despite being targeted during the Blitz- it was struck by bombs on 10 October 1940 and 17 April 1941
In 2007, the World Monuments Fund and American Express awarded St Paul's a grant as part of their Sustainable Tourism initiative. The project will open up rarely seen areas, relieve crowding in the nave - which suffers heavily from foot traffic and fluctuations in humidity