Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1 -- A Symbol of Survival and the Human Spirit

"... At all costs, St. Paul's must be saved." Winston Churchill

On December 29, 1940 28 incendiary bombs fell upon St. Paul's Cathedral, causing heavy damage to the High Altar and North Transcept. Miraculously there was no loss of life within the Cathedral but 40,000 Londoners lost their lives during the German Blitz of World War II. The St. Paul's Watch was established to protect this bastion of English pride and spirit from destruction, ready at any moment to save the Cathedral from fire. At one point, a 500 pound bomb just missed the dome and landed just outside the West entrance, unexploded. It took the "bomb squad" four days to carefully remove the bomb and explode it far beyond the boundaries of the city. It was the only 4 days that St. Paul's was ever closed to the public for worship.

The current building, designed and built under the watchful eye of master architect, Christopher Wren, is actually the fifth building to stand on the site. The fourth incarnation of the Cathedral was of a medieval architecture, but was destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666. It only took Wren 38 years to complete this enormous task. He is buried in the crypt, and as a monument, there is only this inscription: "Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you."


  1. Amazing isn't it? Have you learned what this WWII graffiti (so to speak) means yet... "Danger UXB" or just "UXB" means yet? I can tell you're having a wonderful time, and definitely building up those leg muscles!!! - Sheilah

  2. Just LOVE the stairs photo! If I'm remembering, there is 538 of them? I'm so glad that you were able to climb to the top! :-), Jodi

  3. I did not climb to the top! No way!