St Paul’s Cathedral is the only Renaissance cathedral in England. It took 35 years to build, and in 1970, when Sir Christopher Wren was 78, his son placed the final stone of the building. However, this is the forth cathedral which stands on top of Ludgate Hill. The first cathedral, made of wood, was founded in 604 and dedicated to St Paul by England’s first Christian King, Ethelbert of Kent. This was rebuilt in stone and burned down by Vikings in 962. The third Saxon cathedral was replaced by the Normans, over a 200-year period. The Great Fire of 1666 reduced the cathedral to ashes.
The entire Cathedral is now the only domed cathedral in the country with the dome span of 37 m – which makes it the third largest church dome in the world, after Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence and St Peter’s in Rome. St Paul’s now is the seat of the Bishop of London.