St. Paul's Cathedral

Michael Butzer - Arc. 308 - Section 00545

Basics of the Building

Location: London, England

Architects: Christopher Wren, Lorenzo Gafa

Date of Construction: Between 1675 and 1710


Though many buildings before it stood tall, today we are able to see St. Paul’s Cathedral stand tall in the middle of London, England. Dedicated to Saint Paul, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a well known Anglican church associated with the Church of England. St. Paul’s Cathedral is a very actively used church and typically holds about three to four services every day. The building was built between 1675 and 1710; however, several other churches dedicated to St. Paul had been built in place before it. These churches have since been destroyed dating back to 605 AD. Apart from the services the church provides everyday, the building has been also used for funerals. Some of the notable funerals that have taken place inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral include those of the former Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, and Arthur Wellesley. These notable figures are buried below St. Paul's in the crypt, as is the architect of St. Paul's, Christopher Wren.


"Saint Paul's Cathedral | Cathedral, London, United Kingdom." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

St. Paul's Cathedral: A British Institution

St. Paul's Cathedral is considered the Church of London. Westminster Abbey may be the church that is most recognized and most famous in London. However, it is a private church and mainly hosts royal events. St. Paul's Cathedral on the other hand is open to the City of London and the public. In one of the interviews shown in the video below, The Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, David Ison, talks about the flexibility of the space inside the Cathedral. Because it is such a large building, it can be used for any sorts of events including church services, weddings, and funerals. The Cathedral can hold up to 2,500 people for any given event. The video is capture in 2013 and notably depicts that The Cathedral was used for the funeral of Margaret Vastier.



"St. Paul's Cathedral: A British Institution." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

St. Paul's Cathedral: A British Institution

Plans and Sections

Below we are able to see the plans and sections for St. Paul's Cathedral. If you click on each of the images you will be able to get a closer look at each image. Each photo has labels located in the picture about specification's of the building. All three images take a different approach at looking at the building, but in all three we are able to capture the ariel, side, and high angle view of the building.


Images taken from:

"Explore the Cathedral." - St Paul's Cathedral. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Interior - The Nave

St. Paul's Cathedral is famous around London and has been a landmark for the city for the past few hundred years. The interior of the building is just as jaw-dropping as the exterior. The photo directly to the right showcases the nave of St. Paul's Cathedral. As you are able to see, the nave is a beautiful sight to see and highlights how big St. Paul's Cathedral really is.


Image taken from:

"Roundabout London." Roundabout London. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Sir Christopher Wren - Greatest London Architect Ever?

Born in England in 1632, Sir Christopher Wren became the greatest English architect of not only his time but perhaps the greatest ever. Aside from architecture, Wren was a master of sorts in astronomy, design, and mathematics. He used all of these skill sets to design 53 London churches during his lifetime. In his early years, however, Wren was not much of an architect. During the mid 1600s, London was lacking an architect who could be brought forth to design and construct major buildings. Wren then decided to take the throne of this prestige and establish himself as a well known British architect.

St. Paul's Cathedral is quite possibly Wren's most known building and it took him over 30 years to complete. Starting in 1675, St. Paul's Cathedral was half way completed and could be used by 1697. However, the building still required much construction including the building of the dome. The British government decided to step in and suspend Wren's pay until The Cathedral was fully finished. He finally completed this majestic building by 1710 and it is still in use today.


"Sir Christopher Wren | English Architect." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

The Cathedral is located in the center of London, England. As we are able to see from the image, The Cathedral stands by itself with roads being at all four sides of the building.

Roundabout London - Blog about London, England & St. Paul's Cathedral

The blog is a compilation of many different blogs about The City of London. Among other things, the blog goes into detail about the different aspects of the Cathedral. In one section, a writer details the view you are able to see from the top of the dome. He showcases a 360 angle from the top and you are able to observe all of London from the dome. This just goes to show that the scale of St. Paul's Cathedral is massive. For example, in one of the images you are able to see people walking on the streets. They look as though if they are tiny figures because of the distance from the sidewalk to the dome.


"Roundabout London." Roundabout London. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Drawing of St. Paul's Cathedral

Below I sketched out the entrance to St. Paul's Cathedral. In the sketch, I tried to accentuate the dome, which is the most noteworthy detail of the building and is recognized around the world.
Big image

Personal Experiences

My experience - I visited St. Paul's Cathedral during my junior year of high school in 2013. My father was on a business trip in London and was given three extra nights at his hotel for the week. I flew to London by myself and met up with my father after he had completed the business side of the trip. The hotel was located only a block from the Cathedral so I was able to see the building everyday when I was entering and exiting the hotel. On the last day of the "vacation," my father and I decided to tour the cathedral. The first thing you notice when entering the building is the openness. There are so many different rooms inside of the building and you are just left breathless. We wanted to go up to the dome; however it was early in the morning and the dome was not yet open. Lastly, an impression that the building left me is how detailed everything was. The ceiling was painted with many different figures and the choir was beautifully with ornately carved wood.


Carl Butzer - I remember visiting St. Paul's Cathedral back in 1987, when I was 23 years old. I thought it was grand, regal, majestic. I remember that I used it as a geographic marker in London, to figure out where I was. Inside, I remember the black-and-white checkered floors and the feeling that the whole atmosphere was like one big mosaic. I loved the cupola, with its beautiful artwork. I stared up there for a while. I recall climbing a bunch of stairs, excited to get to the upper levels of the inside of St. Paul's so that I could get a great view of the city. Finally, I remember that at some point you could whisper, and what you were saying could be heard on the opposite side of St. Paul's.