Inside St Paul's Cathedral

What's Inside St Paul's Cathedral - A Quick Glimpse

When you step inside St Paul’s Cathedral, you will not only be swept off by the Cathedral's remarkable interior but also taken by the fascinating stories about its layered history that is spread over five levels. Here you can expect to walk in the footsteps of royalty and eminent leaders on the Cathedral floor and ascend the dome to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the London skyline. Alternatively, you can even head down to the crypt to pay respects to the country’s heroes who are buried. Here are the top ten highlights that you must visit as you step inside St Paul’s Cathedral.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral Floor

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The North Aisle

The North Aisle is situated to the left of the Great West Door entrance. From here, visitors will be able to access St Dunstan's Chapel, which is situated aside for private prayers along with the Chapel of Souls, also known as Kitchener Chapel as it features a memorial to the First World Way army leader.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

Wellington's Monument

Sitting between one of the arches between the nave and the north aisle is one of Britain's greatest soldiers and statesmen, Arthur, Duke of Wellington's monument. He died in 1852 but his monument was only completed by 1912.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Nave

The very first element that visitors would notice as they step inside St Paul's Cathedral is the vista down the full length of the Cathedral from the nave - the long central aisle that leads to the dome. Great West Doors is at the very end of the nave and stands nine meters tall. It is typically used for special services.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The South Aisle

The South Aisle is situated on the right side of the Great West Door entrance. From here, you can access The Chapel of St. Michael and St. George, which is the spiritual home to the Order of the same name. The chapel was originally a consistory court - the place where the bishop sat in judgement over the clergy.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The North Transept

William Holman Hunt's painting The Light of the World is without a doubt the most dominating feature of the north transept. It forms an altarpiece in the Middlesex Chapel. The image depicts Christ knocking at the door that opens from inside, indicating that God can only enter our lives if we invite him.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The South Transept

The monument dedicated to Britain's great naval hero - Horatio Nelson, who died in the famous Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, stands in the south transept. Other memorials displayed includes Nelson's second-in-command, Cuthbert Collingwood, the landscape painter JMW Turner and the explorer Captain Robert Scott.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Grand Organ

Built and installed in 1695, the Grand Organ has undergone several restorations. It is the third-largest organ in the UK and has 7,189 pipes, five keyboards and 138 organ stops. If you're visiting St Paul's Cathedral, this is definitely worth looking out for!

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

North Quire Aisle

The wrought-iron gates located in the north quire aisle, popular known as the Minor Canons' Aisle, were built by the French master metalworker - Jean Tijou. He was responsible for the majority of the decorative metalwork in the Cathedral. The aisle also features the sculpture Mother and Child: Hood.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Quire

The Quire situated at the east of the Cathedral's cross is where the choir and the clergy usually sit during services. The quire was one of the first parts inside St Paul's Cathedral to be built and consecrated. The choir stalls located on both sides feature delicate carvings done by Grinling Gibbons, whose work can be seen on many royal palaces.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

South Quire Aisle

South Quire Aisle, known as the Dean's Aisle features the effigies of two Bishops of London along with a marble effigy of John Donne. Donne was a Dean of the Cathedral, not to mention, one of Britain's finest poets, who died in 1631. It is one of the few monuments that survived the Great Fire in London.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The High Altar

The current High Altar dates back to the late 1950s, and it is made of marble and carved and gilded oak. It features a stunning canopy based on a sketch by Christopher Wren, but which wasn't built in his time. It replaced a large Victorian marble alter and screen which were ruined by a bomb strike in WW2.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Apse

At the east end inside St Paul's Cathedral, situated right behind the High Altar is the American Memorial Chapel, also known as the Jesus Chapel. The section of the Cathedral was destroyed during the Blitz and as a part of the restoration, it was decided that Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans stationed in the UK during WW2.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral Dome

Chapels Inside St Paul's Cathedral

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The American Memorial Chapel

At the east end, inside St Paul's Cathedral, is the American Memorial Chapel. Popularly known as the Jesus Chapel, this part of the Cathedral was destroyed during the Blitz. And as a part of the restoration, it was decided that the people of Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans in the UK who lost their lives in WW2.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Knights Bachelor Chapel

The Chapel of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor, known as the St Martin's Chapel was dedicated by HM the Queen in 2008. The Chapel is built using English oak and in it, there are two elegant cases which contain the names of all Knights Bachelor (deceased) from 1257 to date and Founder Knights' and Benefactors' Book.

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

The Order of the British Empire Chapel

At the east end of the Crypt is the OBE Chapel, known as St Faith's Chapel. The original St Faith's was a parish church that was attached to the old St Paul's Cathedral that got destroyed in the Great Fire of London. In 1960 this chapel became the spiritual home to the Order of the British Empire.

How to Enter Inside St Paul's Cathedral?

St Paul's Cathedral is a working church, and if you wish to enter the cathedral for prayer or attending a service, then you can enter for free. However, if you wish to explore the cathedral, then you will have to buy tickets for the same. St Paul's Cathedral may be closed or some regions closed off to the public on special occasions. Make sure to look at the schedule and book your tickets online and in advance to ensure your entry into the cathedral. You will get the tickets directly to your phone, which you can simply display at the ticket office to gain entry. You can also easily cancel your ticket online if you change your mind.

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Oculus: An Eye Into St Paul's

Inside St Paul's Cathedral

Oculus: an eye into St Paul's is a 270° film experience that unfolds 1,400 years of history to life. Situated in the atmospheric former Treasury in the crypt, Oculus instantly transports you through the history and daily life of St Paul's in three films: Life of the Cathedral; Resurgam, I will Rise Again; and Virtual Access, the Dome.

St Paul's Cathedral Exterior & Churchyard

Frequently Asked Questions About Inside St Paul's Cathedral

Q. What is inside St Paul's Cathedral?

A. Apart from the breathtaking architecture of the St Paul's Cathedral's dome, there are also chapels, tombs, artworks and many other things worth viewing inside. You can also view the 270° film experience called Oculus that gives you insight into the past life of St Paul's Cathedral.

Q. How can I go inside St Paul's Cathedral?

A. If you wish to visit St Paul's Cathedral for prayer or attending a service, then you can enter the cathedral for free. However, if you wish to explore the cathedral, you may have to buy tickets for the same. Book St Paul's Cathedral tickets

Q. Can I go inside St Paul's Cathedral for free?

A. Yes. If you wish to visit St Paul's Cathedral just to attend prayer or service, then you can enter the cathedral for free. However, if you wish to explore the rest of the cathedral, make sure that you book a ticket for the same. Book St Paul's Cathedral tickets online

Q. How many steps are there inside St Paul's Cathedral dome?

A. There are 528 steps in total that you will have to climb to get to the top of the dome in St Paul's Cathedral.

Q. Can I climb the dome inside St Paul's Cathedral?

A. Yes, the St Paul's Cathedral dome is open for visits. Climb the 528 steps within to enjoy panoramic views of the city of London.