St Paul's Cathedral
It seems that everywhere we've walked while here, Christopher Wren's St. Paul's has nodded it's dome at us through narrow streets, over pub roofs and beyond wide avenues. Each time I would think, how fortunate that it was not bombed during the WWII blitz. Today I discovered that to be untrue. We had an informative tour with Yvonne who explained that a bomb came through the high alter area, damaging only a small portion of the ceiling and none of the Italian ceiling mosaics. Wren's vision was one of a wide open, white, bright and clean interior. Yvonne asked us to imagine that since today's Cathedral has been altered with Victorian mosaics, altar spaces filled with sculpture and painting, and the nave full of chairs. Yvonne seemed to sneer each time she mentioned Victorian influences. We climbed the 259 winding steps to the whispering galleries, which runs around the dome 100 feet above the crossing at the trancept. Here we got a beautiful view of the only original art work, Thornhill's dome paintings. The crypt holds the bodies of Wren, Nelson, Wellington and a memorial to Churchill. If one is a member of the BOE, one may marry here.
We returned after a very late lunch to hear vespers with song by the Westminster Abbey Choir. Photographs and recordings are not allowed anytime. But drawing is always allowed.