Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Restoration of St. Paul's Cathedral

After 15 years, and £40m, the restoration of London’s treasured St. Paul’s Cathedral is now finished. Completed in 1711, St. Paul’s was the architectural masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren. The cathedral was originally commissioned by Charles II, though the site itself has remained the same since AD 604, when the original Cathedral of St. Paul was built. The city of London is known for its pollution, and after 300 years the façade of St. Paul’s had grown black with soot and dirt. During restoration, the entire west front was covered, but now the white Portland stone shines brightly and looks almost brand new. The dean of St. Paul’s stated, “the two million worshippers, pilgrims, and visitors who come to St. Paul’s each year can now witness Wren’s original vision and see the cathedral as fresh as the day it was completed.” In addition to restoring the outside, conservationists worked hard to repair damages to the interior of the cathedral and restore the grand organ. New lights now “flood” the building, giving visitors the opportunity to view the mosaics and sculptures in all their grandeur. On Tuesday, a service will be held to commemorate the cathedral’s 300-year anniversary and the completion of the project.

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