St Paul’s Cathedral has dominated London’s skyline for over three hundred years, and as such has become not only much loved, but also massively famous. The most famous aspect of the Cathedral is undoubtedly its huge domed roof, as seen above. The famous dome almost wasn’t built, as Sir Christopher Wren’s sketches at the time showed a large pagoda like squire. However, when the King William III decreed that Wren could make some ‘Ornamental Changes’, many of which where made as construction progressed, the most significant of these was the dome which was inspired both by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Val-de-Grâce Military Hospital in Paris. . The Cathedral is 518ft (158m) long, and 365ft (111m) high, a height which, made the cathedral, until 1962, the tallest building in London.
Currently the Cathedral allows visitors to walk along a walkway on the outside of the dome, allowing for breathtaking panoramic views of London. On top of this one can also visit the ‘whispering gallery’ at the base of the dome, so called because whispered communication from any part of the internal side of the circumference can be heard in any other part. The sound is carried by waves, known as whispering-gallery waves that travel around the circumference clinging to the walls. Indeed, this effect was first discovered at St Paul’s, hence the gallery’s name.