Wren’s St. Paul’s Officially Opened

St Paul’s Cathedral was opened on 2 December 1697.

Illustration of St Paul's
Illustration of St Paul’s Cathedral, taken from ‘A new History and Survey of ... London, ... Westminster, and Southwark. With ... illustrations of their Antiquities, etc’, c. 1833. British Library/Flikr.

The City of London is used to disaster - whether from IRA bombs, financial speculators of the German Luftwaffe. But at the heart of the city, as a symbol of its resilience, is Sir Christopher Wren’s Baroque masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, which marked the completion of its new Choir on December 2nd, 1697. The Cathedral itself was the product of the single greatest setback in the city’s history - the Great Fire of 1666. Plague had swept through London in 1665 so in effect the fire cauterised the city, destroying its disease ridden and ancient wooden slums, creating an ideal opportunity to remake the city as a fitting capital for a growing world power and financial centre.

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