England: St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
We had to make the pilgrimage to St. Paul’s while in London, as the image below has been burned into my memory since 3rd Form ( 8th grade) when our teacher told us the uplifting story about the great church being bracketed on all sides by exploding bombs during the London Blitz, yet surviving unscathed.
Public domain image (as well it should be; this photograph belongs to history)
The truth is not quite so heroic. I was surprised to learn that the East portion of the church was in fact destroyed and later rebuilt, but I guess schoolboy myths don’t have to be exacting with the details.
The plaza in front of the church contains a famous statue of Queen Anne.
This too, is not original, but rather a replica. The authentic work was removed to protect it from pollution, I believe.
The cathedral is a surprisingly modern looking structure, and of course very, very imposing.
Visitors are not allowed to take photos inside the building, which gave us an excuse not to climb the towers. So we filed by Nelson’s tomb and other memorials to imperialists of old. But we felt pretty pleased with ourselves at the end of the visit.