In the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury resides in St. Paul's Cathedral, which is located in the city of London. It is located on top of Ludgate Hill, which can be found in the middle of London's City, to the northeast of Blackfriars.
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The cathedral of the Church of England and the place where the Bishop of London presides is St. Paul's Cathedral, which is located in the city of London. Even in modern times, the Diocese of London considers St. Paul's Cathedral to be its "spiritual home." It is a Grade I listed building, and you can find it on top of Ludgate Hill, which is the highest point in the City of London.
Caen stone was first utilised in the construction of the fourth cathedral, which is today referred to as Old St. Paul's, around the tail end of the 11th century. During that time, it was one of the largest constructions in the British Isles; in fact, its spire was taller than the dome of the cathedral that is still standing today. During the time of the English Reformation in the 16th century, the building's nave was in such poor condition that it was transformed into a marketplace. In the year 1561, the tower was struck by lightning, which led to the beginning of a fire that ultimately brought the spire down. In the 1630s, Inigo Jones undertook a process of major repairs, which included the destruction of shops, the rebuilding of walls, and the erection of a famous portico on the western side of the building. During the English Civil Wars (1642–1651), however, Cromwellian cavalry forces utilised the structure as a barracks. As a result, the building sustained significant damage as a result of this use. Christopher Wren was contracted in the 1660s to survey and reconstruct the cathedral; however, the construction was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 before any work could commence. Christopher Wren's work was never completed.
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After that, Wren was in charge of the planning and supervision of the construction of the already existing cathedral, which is primarily constructed out of Portland stone. His ideas were approved in 1675, and building didn't wrap up until 1710 even though it had begun in 1675. During the 19th century, a few superficial alterations were made to the interior of the cathedral so that it would be more acceptable to Victorians. This was done. During the Battle of Britain in 1941, the structure in question took direct hits from bombs; but, because to the actions of the civil defence troops, it was spared from the subsequent fires that were caused by the bombing. At one time, a bomb that had not been detonated was rescued from the nave under extremely dangerous circumstances. Maintenance was picked back up when the conflict was over.
Wren created a design for the building that included elements of Neoclassicism, Gothic architecture, and Baroque style in an effort to convey the ideals of the English Restoration and the scientific philosophy of the 17th century. Even though the design from 1675 was used for the cathedral's construction, the finished product looked significantly different. The "Great Model" that was created by Wren and is 20 feet in length is currently being shown in the crypt. This model was used to give form to Wren's planned renovations in 1673, but they were ultimately rejected. For a more in-depth study of the architect's reasons, see Sir Christopher Wren: The Building of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Work done by Grinling Gibbons between 1696 and 1698 on the choir stalls of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
Wren's assistants included the French Huguenot ironworker Jean Tijou, who was responsible for crafting the choir's grillwork and the iron balustrade of the southwest tower; the sculptor and carver Grinling Gibbons, who was responsible for crafting the choir stalls, the organ case, and the bishop's throne; the mason-contractors and brothers Thomas and Edward Strong; the master carpenter John Longland; and the mason Joshua Marshall.
An outer dome, a brick cone that is hidden for the purpose of providing structural support, and an internal dome make up the three-shell structure of St. Paul's dome, which has for such a long time dominated the skyline of London. The cross that is located on the cathedral's exterior dome is visible from more than 356 feet (109 metres) above the main floor of the structure. The exterior, lead-encased dome as well as the 850-ton lantern section that sits below the cross are both supported by the brick cone. At a height of 530 feet, the distinctive Golden Gallery offers breathtaking views of London below. The Golden Gallery may be found at the bottom of the lantern at the apex of the outer dome (or 85 metres). The Stone Gallery is yet another lookout location that is quite popular. It may be found further down and just beneath the brick cone. Visitors are welcome to explore the internal dome of the cathedral, which is a masonry structure with a diameter of 31 metres. It is possible to have a fantastic view of the paintings and grisaille on the interior dome of the cathedral from the Whispering Gallery, which is located 99 feet (30 metres) above the cathedral floor. A circle of 32 buttresses that are not visible from the ground below them bears the weight and thrust of the upper dome section. These buttresses are located around the height of the Whispering Gallery. The dome of the cathedral and the buttresses that support it are held up by eight enormous piers.