St Pauls Cathedral – London
So Matt gave me a ‘free’ ticket to see St Pauls Cathedral. Well it was a season pass that he got when he went there. So I’ve had it for a while, but never gotten up to go do it.
So, in the afternoon I decide to head on in and have a look at this grand Christopher Wren masterpiece. Walking up to you get a size of its scale. Its pretty god damn massive. With its facade being dominated by the dome above.
Walking in, I’m a bit apphrehensive about using the ticket but he flags myself straight in. I go for a wonder, there is a little fountain right by the entrance. Then walk down the aisle to the centre – right under the dome. Looking up, you just wonder how the hell they built it. Its a perfect sphere that leaves a massive hollow in the church.
I check out around the alter section and find a tomb that actually has my last name on it. But according to mum its no one we are related to. Boo. Before going and ascending the stairs to the top of the dome.
The first lot of stairs are pretty wide and easy, but they get smaller. The first level is called the “Whispering Wall”. Its the section where the dome starts, and if you put your ear against the wall, whilst someone across the other side whispers into the wall, you can actually hear it.
At this stage, just before I am about to head up to the next level, an alarm goes off. And we get ushered downstairs, and then outside, I guess they are pretty well drilled at this. On the outside you can see the fire trucks pulling up. I decide to grab some food from m&s as it will probably be a while before I can get in.
Just as I finish up, the fire trucks go and they start letting people back in. Only problem is, I seem to have misplaced the ticket I had that got myself access to the church. A bit of sweet talking at the desk and I am back in, another bit of sweet talking and I am up the stairs again.
Getting up to the 2nd level, you come outside and get a fantastic view of London. Despite the array of Construction cranes working away in the distance – I guess they want to be ready for 2012! But its a gorgeous view, and you can see every prominent building in London basically except for Buckingham Palace. Its not a bad view for the hike.
I go to get to the top level, but the doors locked and the guys are like ‘It’s closed for another month for repairs. What a rip. Oh well. Still a top view.
Descending is much much easier, and I walk across and go down to the Crypt. Probably has some of the most exubriant memorials and tombs you could imagine. There was one that was very plain – a Ms F Nightingale. But when you see the Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelsons tomb you kind of wonder if they are over compensating for something. No doubt great men and deserve the recognition but they are deadset massive!
However I must say the simplest, yet best tomb comes from Mr Wren himself. He has a tomb, very nondescript at the corner of the building. Its inscription reads “LECTOR, SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS, CIRCUMSPICE”.
Which basically transcribes to “Reader, if you seek his memorial – look around you”.Which basically means his memorial is the church.
Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.