With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: The City of London, Saint Paul's Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

Friday, October 23, 2015

The City of London, Saint Paul's Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

 This day in London was filled with such splendor and beauty we could barely take it all in.
Among so many other things, I love London for the serendipitous moments. Slipping past a quiet courtyard, strolling past an interesting door or turning the corner and beholding an enchanting wall garden.
 so lovely
 This is where we passed as we walked to the spot to begin The City walking tour from one of our travel books. We downloaded the app before leaving home and listened to it on our iPhone.On the way we found this very pretty place on the corner of Kemble Street and Drury Lane. 
Yes, Drury Lane, where the muffin man of my nursery rhyme days must had lived :)
 How could these obvious tourists not stop by an iconic red phone box for fun pics!
We began our walk at St. Clement Danes, an Anglican church in the City of Westminster, London.

It is situated outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. The current building was completed in 1682 by Sir Christopher Wren. Wren's building was gutted during the Blitz and not restored until 1958, when it was adapted to its current function as the central church of the Royal Air Force. source

Christopher Wren played a large part in London's history.  After the great fire of 1666, Christopher Wren was a hired to rebuild the city. 

The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall. It threatened, but did not reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants source 
Across from St. Clement Danes is the Australian House. It is both Australia's first diplomatic mission and the longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom.
 We stopped in the Twinings' shop on the Strand. It was established as a tea room in 1706
Inside the long, narrow tea shop.
A bit farther, we came to The Temple Bar Monument with a statue of a griffin. It marks the official entrance in to the City of London leaving Westminster. This is where the Strand changes names and becomes Fleet Street.
This Tudor-style Prince Henry's Room (top of the house) dates from 1610 and is one of the few buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1666. The top floor of the house was once an office for King Charles I's son.
 Continuing along, The Royal Courts of Justice stand impressively.
The Royal Courts of Justice houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Designed by George Edmund Street, who died before it was completed, it is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882. It is one of the largest courts in Europe. It is located on the Strand within the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar) source
Further along, St. Paul's Cathedral comes into view.
From Rick Steves: If you were standing here in September 1666, you'd see nothing but smoke and ruins.  The Great Fire razed everything, including the original St. Paul's Cathedral.  Christopher Wren was hired to rebuild St. Paul's and The City.

If you were standing here on December 30, 1940, the morning after a German Luftwaffe firebomb raid, you'd see nothing but a flat, smoldering landscape of rubble, with St. Paul's rising above it, almost miraculously intact.
A quick selfie in front of this busy road and gorgeous cathedral.
 the magnificent dome
Queen Anne statue stands in front of the Cathedral
The plinth is inscribed with these words: “The original statue was erected on this spot to commemorate the completion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Francis Bird – sculptor.” “This replica of the statue of Queen Anne was erected at the expense of The Corporation of London In the year 1886, The Rt. Hon. Sir Reginald Hanson MA, FSA, Lord Mayor – Wm. Braham Esq., Chairman of the City Lands Committee”
Photos were not allowed in St. Paul's Cathedral. The photos above were taken from the internet.
 around the back

 leaving St. Paul's Cathedral toward the old Temple Bar in Patenoster square
 outside the beautiful St. Paul's
as we walked away
 Onward from St. Paul's, we walked to the Millennium Bridge.
 The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Mid-span on the Millennium Bridge with the dome of St. Paul behind us.
Crossing the Themes on foot with the enticing aroma of caramel-coated roasted peanuts permeating the air on another day of gorgeous weather! Could't resist this delicious snack adding to our list of wonderful London memories :)

Can you believe that all of this was just part of our Saturday.
Heading to Bankside and lots to see along the Themes up next.


Ann said...

I'm really enjoying this tour. What a fabulous place to visit.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

Such wonderful pictures! Both of you look like you are having fun!

handmade by amalia said...

One of my favorite parts of London. I so enjoyed the tour.

Adrienne said...

I would love to see London! Your photos made me ready to book a flight, pack my walking shoes and see it all. Thanks for taking us with you - it was a great tour.


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