Surprise Surprise

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most photographed sites in London. Well the outside of it is anyway. Usually, photography is forbidden inside the cathedral. It’s a working church and the powers that be have decided to try to preserve the spirituality and peace of the building. No mean feat when you consider that it was visited by over two million people last year (2014)*

But this week, for the first time in its history, St. Paul’s Cathedral was opened up to photographers who have been asked to capture images of all those specials places, those magnificent views, those random details that make the church such an iconic place. ‘Surprise St. Paul’s 2’** was announced and 300 tickets sold to anyone with a tenner. So photographers with some pretty professional looking kit rubbed shoulders with iPhone snappers, all taking advantage of this amazing opportunity.

I was lucky enough to snap up one of these coveted tickets, so here are a few of my pictures (taken on my battered old Panasonic Lumix).

St. Paul’s is a church that is full of amazing ceilings.

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And those views that everyone is after.

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It’s the home of a million upshots.

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And plenty of #wallporn.

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Crypts are always photogenic.

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Here is Wellington’s tomb.

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And here and there are reminders of the older St. Paul’s. The one destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666.

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And of the affiliations of the Catherdal’s architect, Sir Christopher Wren.

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Smaller details are as interesting as the grand sweeping vistas. This putto has good co-ordination.

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And look at these impressive chops.

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I wonder how many illustrious bottoms have parked themselves here.

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A reminder that this is a working church, with regular services (one of which finished just before we were let in). All that singing can be thirsty work.

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I also found myself watching other visitors, finding and capturing their own favourite views.

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But I’ll leave you with the man/God/ghost himself. He is, after all, the star of this show.

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I lit the two candles here. I’m not at all religious, but many members of my family are. One candle was for my Nan and the other for my cousin Merry, who passed away just recently.

You can see some of people’s images on Twitter under the hashtag #SurpriseStPauls. There are loads of really good ones.

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* https://www.stpauls.co.uk/visits/visits/sightseeing-times-prices/why-do-we-charge

**’Surprise St. Paul’s 1′ was for photos of the outside of the building.

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