The present cathedral was built as a centrepiece of the redevelopment of the City of London following the Great Fire of London in 1666. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and consecrated thirty two years later within Wrens lifetime. Wren was the first person buried in the crypt in 1726.
Wren was originally asked to rebuild the many churches destroyed by the Great Fire. There are over fifty Wren churches in the city.
Many significant national services have taken place in the cathedral. The funerals of Nelson, Winston Churchill and the Duke of Wellington and numerous Royal celebrations including jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have all taken place here.
While the cathedral suffered some slight damage during the bombing of the Blitz, one of the most iconic images of the cathedral, taken in December 1940, is a photograph of the dome standing tall amongst the smoke and chaos of the bombing.
Today the cathedral is a busy working church. Attendance at services is, of course, free but there is a fee to enjoy a sightseeing visit with the proceeds used to support the upkeep of the building.
If you are feeling fit, you can take the 249 steps up to the Whispering Gallery in the dome where a whisper at one point of the dome can be heard at any other point.
Special tip, catch a free Sunday organ recital - all welcome.