St. Paul's Cathedral - A temple for the people of London

Oct 16, 2019

A temple for the queen of London, Diana once stood high on land, but then it is believed to be a dedication the St. Paul in AD 604, which is believed to be have burned down and was replaced by another one in-between 675–685AD. It was taken down by the Viking raiders in 962. In 1087 another one (the third one) was raided down by a fire made by the rivalries. The fourth one which is known as Old St. Paul’s Cathedral and was constructed with Caen stone, but then it couldn’t survive another era due to the another invasion and due to fire in 1561 on the spire, it was fell in such a way that it couldn’t be  repaired and neither could be replaced. The recovery was done by Indigo Jones, who oversaw the removal of shops, the renovation of walls, and the building of a much-admired portico on the western side. During the English Civil Wars (1642–51), however, the structure was severely damaged by Cromwellian cavalry troops who used it as a barracks. Finally, after so much of destruction, it was decided by the royals that this project must be repaired by Christopher Wren in 1660s but then again was destroyed by The Great London Fire before the work could begin. The cathedral has been in existence since 1841 even before the Great Britain war ended. Masqueray, a French architect redesigned what we see today.

Architectural Gist about the cathedral:

St. Paul was Christopher’s wren fiftieth church that he has received to work on after the great London fire. He was tasked with creating a cathedral which resembles the older one and has to be a worship place too. Wren was closely attached to contemporary renaissance designs and so he decided to work with baroque styles to design the cathedral, to keep the traditions alive. There are several galleries up near the top of the dome so people can climb up and get a closer look. We're now in the transept of the cathedral, the part that stretches out like the arms of a cross. There are semi-circular entrances at the tip of each arm of the transept. The top of the cross reaches a height of 365 feet. The cathedral, in particular, the dome, is heavily influenced by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He designed the showpiece west façade to be fronted by a wide flight of steps, a double-storey portico, and two Baroque towers.

The crypt which extends under the entire building not only on the eastern side makes the cathedral unusual.  The structure has crypt for its own purpose as massive piers spread the weight of the structure’s slimmer pier, just because of weak clay soil. The dome is the most notable feature in the cathedral, as because of the creativity done on it, just to ensure that it captures everyone’s attention. Wren designed a double-shelled dome, with the inner and outer domes using catenary curves rather than hemispheres. The dome and the cone inside are supported by wrought iron chains and so that it stays the same and doesn’t crack. The dome and the cone are 18 inches thick. The dome rests on pendentives which rise between 8 arches spanning the nave, choir, transepts, and aisles. It’s raised by a tall drum which is covered by colonnade continuously. The construction took 40 years and was monitored by Wren. Christopher placed the final stone on the lantern, watched by his father below.