A total of five cathedrals stood on this place, and the very first one, made of wood, was built – just think about it! – at the beginning of the 7th century. After the Great Fire of London in 1666, the fourth cathedral could have been rebuilt, but it was rather decided to build a new one – even more splendid and beautiful. The project was entrusted to Christopher Wren. A math professor at Oxford, by the time he was already a famous architect, an author of several famous buildings, and of a master plan for London. The requisitioners were satisfied only with the third sketch, and the final editing was directed by King Charles II personally. Construction took 35 years in total, but the first service was conducted on 2 December 1697 – thirteen years before the completion of the building.
The cathedral turned out to be a true masterpiece: grandiose, but elegant. The dome, visible from all the boroughs, became a true jewel of London. There are three galleries located beneath the dome, and one of them – the Whispering Gallery – earned its name because any word whispered on one side of the gallery will be heard on another side, even though the dome’s diameter amounts to 32 meters.
Traditionally, distinguished Brits are buried in the cathedral, including its architect. The inscription on a granite tombstone reads in Latin: “Reader, if you seek his monument – look around you.”