Inside St Paul Cathedral

By Harshitha Jagathiesh

St Paul Cathedral, located in the heart of London, is a testament to human creativity, faith, and enduring craftsmanship. 

Its towering dome and striking facade have captivated visitors for centuries, drawing pilgrims, tourists, and art enthusiasts alike.

We will get to the inside of St Pauls Cathedral and shed light on this remarkable legacy spanning over 300 years of history/ 

Whether you have a passion for history and architecture or simply feast your eyes on this extraordinary place, this article is here to be your guide.

Entry Ticket

St Paul’s Cathedral

Schedule a Visit

Inside St Paul’s Cathedral Floor

In this part, we will take you on a virtual tour of the cathedral’s interior, exploring its breathtaking features and historical significance. 

One of the highlights we’ll delve into is the magnificent grand organ, a musical masterpiece that resonates throughout the vast space.

Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about one of London’s most iconic landmarks, this section is for you! 

The North Aisle

The North Aisle of St Paul’s Cathedral, located on the right-hand side as you enter, is a space that showcases craftsmanship and creativity.

Walking along its length, you’ll be surrounded by stunning architectural features, intricate carvings, and captivating artwork.

One of the notable features of the North Aisle is its magnificent stained glass windows. 

These colorful masterpieces depict scenes from the Bible, saints, and other religious motifs. 

As the sunlight filters through the vibrant glass, it casts a mesmerizing glow, creating an atmosphere of reverence and serenity.

Wellington’s Monument

Wellington’s Monument is a monumental masterpiece of sculpture and craftsmanship. 

It was designed by the English sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt and completed in 1854. 

The monument is a towering testament to the Duke’s accomplishments and pivotal role in British history.

Wellington’s Monument is a poignant reminder of the Duke’s immense contribution to the nation and his enduring legacy. 

It is not only a memorial to his military achievements but also a testament to his leadership, statesmanship, and lasting impact on British society.

The Nave

The Nave is the central part of the cathedral, extending from the West Door to the Dome. 

It is a vast and open expanse designed to inspire a sense of reverence and contemplation. 

One of the most striking features of the Nave is the Great West Window. 

This stunning stained glass window, located above the West Door, depicts the life of the apostle Paul. 

It’s vibrant colors and intricate scenes capture the essence of the apostle’s journey and his significant contributions to Christianity.

The South Aisle

The South Aisle is located on the southern side of the cathedral, running parallel to the central nave. 

It is one of the aisles that flank the nave, providing additional space for congregants and visitors. 

The aisle is separated from the nave by a row of towering columns supporting the massive arches and vaulted ceiling above.

The South Aisle also houses several notable chapels and memorials. 

One of the most prominent is the Chapel of St. Michael and St. George, dedicated to the Order of St. Michael and St. George, an order of chivalry. 

The chapel features stunning stained glass windows and elaborate decorations.

The North Transept

The North Transept of St. Paul’s Cathedral is located at the northern side of the central crossing, where the nave intersects with the transepts. 

It is one of the four arms extending from the central space, creating a cruciform layout characteristic of many large cathedrals.

In the North Transept, you may also find essential artworks, sculptures, and memorials. St. Paul’s Cathedral is known for its memorials.

One notable memorial in the North Transept is the Wellington Monument, dedicated to Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. 

The South Transept

The transept is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows that allow light to filter through, creating a serene and spiritual atmosphere. 

These windows often depict scenes from the life of St. Paul or other biblical stories.

One notable feature in the south transept is the Nelson Monument. 

This monument commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson, a British naval hero who died in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. 

The monument consists of a large statue of Nelson standing on top of a column, surrounded by intricate carvings and reliefs that tell the story of his life and achievements.

The Grand Organ

Inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, the grand organ is one of the most prominent features. 

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London is renowned for its majestic architecture and impressive musical instruments, including the organ.

It was built by the esteemed organ builder Henry Willis in the 19th century and has undergone subsequent renovations.

The organ is located in the Grand Organ Screen, at the cathedral’s west end, above the entrance.

The High Altar

The high altar is situated at the eastern end of the cathedral, traditionally facing the rising sun. 

It is a prominent structure that holds great religious and symbolic importance. 

Sir Christopher Wren designed the current high altar at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The high altar is made of marble and features a magnificent baldachin or canopy supported by ornate pillars. 

This canopy rises above the altar and is adorned with intricate carvings, sculptures, and decorative elements. 

The canopy symbolizes the sacredness of the space and serves as a visual representation of the heavenly realm.

The Apse

The Apse
Image: Twitter.com

Inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, the apse is an essential architectural feature located at the eastern end of the building. 

The apse is a semicircular or polygonal recess that projects outward from the main body of the cathedral. 

It is often used as a space for the high altar and is considered a sacred area within the church.

In St. Paul’s Cathedral specifically, the apse is a magnificent and grand space that showcases the cathedral’s rich history and architectural beauty. 

As you enter the apse, you would typically encounter a large semicircular or polygonal area with a high vaulted ceiling. 

The walls are often adorned with intricate designs, carvings, or stained glass windows that depict religious scenes or figures.

Inside St Paul’s Cathedral Dome

In this part, we delve into the magnificent interior of the cathedral’s dome, an awe-inspiring masterpiece that has captured the imagination of visitors for centuries.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, with its iconic dome dominating the London skyline, stands as a symbol of resilience, faith, and artistic brilliance. 

Designed by the legendary architect Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century, this architectural marvel continues to captivate both locals and tourists alike.

The Ball and Lantern

The Ball and Lantern refer to the structures at the top of the dome, serving both practical and symbolic purposes. 

The dome is an impressive architectural achievement and a recognizable St. Paul’s Cathedral symbol.

The Ball, also known as the Golden Gallery, is a circular balcony at the top of the dome. 

It provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city of London. 

The Lantern, positioned above the Ball, is a small structure with a dome-shaped roof and a cross on top.

The Lantern acts as a beacon, symbolizing the spiritual light that emanates from the cathedral.

The Golden Gallery

The Golden Gallery is located 85 meters above the cathedral floor, and to reach it, visitors must climb 528 steps from the ground level. 

It is a circular balcony that encircles the exterior of the Dome, providing a panoramic view of the city.

The Golden Gallery gets its name from the gilded lead that covers its surface, giving it a golden appearance. 

Visitors can admire stunning vistas of London’s skyline from the Golden Gallery in all directions.

The Stone Gallery

The Stone Gallery is an outdoor observation deck on the dome’s exterior, offering visitors breathtaking views of the cityscape.

To reach the Stone Gallery, visitors must climb 271 steps up a narrow spiral staircase from the Whispering Gallery. 

The Whispering Gallery is another notable feature of St. Paul’s Cathedral, known for its unique acoustic properties.

Once you reach the Stone Gallery, you are treated to panoramic views of London’s skyline.

The Whispering Gallery

Located at approximately 30 meters (98 feet) above the cathedral floor, the Whispering Gallery encircles the dome’s interior. 

Its name derives from the peculiar acoustic properties that allow whispered sounds to travel along the curved surface. 

These sounds can be heard clearly on the opposite side, even at a considerable distance.

The gallery is a walkway that offers breathtaking views of the cathedral’s interior. 

Visitors walking along the circular path can marvel at the stunning mosaics and decorative artwork that adorn the dome.

Chapels Inside St Paul’s Cathedral

Chapels Inside St Paul’s Cathedral
Image: Twitter.com

Inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, several chapels offer prayer, reflection, and worship spaces. 

These chapels hold significant historical and religious importance. 

Here are some of the notable chapels within St. Paul’s Cathedral:

All Souls’ Chapel

Located in the south aisle of the cathedral, All Souls’ Chapel is a serene space dedicated to prayer and remembrance. 

It contains a book of remembrance with the names of those who lost their lives during World War II.

American Memorial Chapel

This chapel in the north aisle commemorates the American servicemen stationed in the United Kingdom during World War II. 

It features colorful stained glass windows and a roll of honor displaying the names of the fallen.

Chapel of St. Dunstan

Situated in the north transept, the Chapel of St. Dunstan is a small chapel dedicated to St. Dunstan, a former Archbishop of Canterbury. 

It is adorned with beautiful stained glass depicting scenes from St. Dunstan’s life.

Chapel of St. Michael and St. George 

Found in the south transept, this chapel honors the Order of St. Michael and St. George, a British chivalry order. 

It features a stunning mosaic of St. Michael defeating the dragon.

Nelson’s Chapel

Located in the crypt, Nelson’s Chapel is dedicated to Admiral Lord Nelson, a renowned British naval hero. 

It houses a black sarcophagus containing Nelson’s remains and various naval memorabilia.

How to Enter Inside St Paul’s Cathedral?

The entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral is through the West Steps, which lead to the grand main entrance of the cathedral. 

The West Steps is a monumental staircase located at the western facade of the cathedral, facing Ludgate Hill.

As visitors ascend the West Steps, they approach the massive wooden doors that mark the entrance. 

The main entrance is adorned with intricate stone carvings and decorative elements, showcasing the craftsmanship and grandeur of the cathedral’s architecture.

St Paul’s Cathedral Exterior & Churchyard

The exterior of St. Paul’s Cathedral is a striking sight and a prominent landmark in the London skyline. 

Here are some notable features of the cathedral’s exterior and the surrounding churchyard:

Dome

The most distinctive feature of St. Paul’s Cathedral is its grand dome. 

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the dome stands at a height of 111 meters (365 feet) and is one of the largest domes in the world.

Facade

The facade of St. Paul’s Cathedral is adorned with elaborate sculptures, carvings, and decorative details. 

The main entrance, known as the Great West Door, features a grand entrance with columns and pediments. 

Above the entrance, you can see intricate stone carvings and statues.

Towers

Towers
Image: Twitter.com

St. Paul’s Cathedral has two bell towers. 

The taller tower, known as the South Tower, reaches a height of 67 meters (220 feet). 

The North Tower is slightly shorter. 

Both towers add to the cathedral’s majestic appearance.

Stone Cross

Atop the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, there is a large golden cross, which symbolizes the Christian faith. 

The cross is visible from various points in the city and stands as a prominent landmark.

Churchyard

The churchyard surrounding St. Paul’s Cathedral provides a tranquil outdoor space in the bustling city center. 

The churchyard is beautifully landscaped, with pathways, gardens, and benches. 

It offers a peaceful retreat for visitors to relax and enjoy the surroundings.


Suggested Reads: 


FAQs

1. Can you go inside St Paul’s Cathedral?

Yes, you can go inside St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The entrance path is via the West Steps.

2. Is it worth it to go inside St Paul’s Cathedral?

Going inside St Paul’s Cathedral is worth it and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

3. Are you allowed to take photos inside St Paul’s Cathedral?

Photography is allowed inside St. Paul’s Cathedral for personal, non-commercial use. 

Visitors are generally permitted to photograph most areas of the cathedral, including the nave, chapels, and other designated spaces. 

However, there may be restrictions or specific guidelines in certain areas

4. What is the secret entrance to St Paul’s Cathedral?

There has been no mention of a secret entrance or exit in St Paul’s Cathedral. 

But, keeping in mind the history and period – we wouldn’t be surprised if St Paul’s Cathedral were to have a few secrets.

Are you planning to visit St Paul’s Cathedral? 

Here is a brief of all the St Paul’s Cathedral tickets to help you plan your visit.

Entry ticket: This simple entry ticket offer skip the line benefit and lets you enjoy a self-guided tour around the Cathedral. 
Buy This Ticket | Learn More

St Paul’s Cathedral + Westminster Abbey: Get the combination ticket to enter the most famous Churches in London. 
Buy This Combo | Learn More

St Paul’s Cathedral + Thames River Cruise: With this combo, you can tour the Cathedral and then enjoy a river cruise on the Thames. 
Buy This Combo | Learn More

London Pass: Visit more than 85 attractions within 2 to 10 days. You do not have to purchase individual entry tickets and get to save about 50% on admission tickets.
Buy This Pass | Learn More

Go City London Explorer Pass: With this pass, you can visit St Paul’s Cathedral and a choice of 2 to 6 attractions in London. 
Buy This Pass | Learn More

Featured Image: STpauls.co.uk

Harshita
About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore