A Sight I Didn’t See

Source: Wikipedia

One of the best things about visiting the major art galleries and museums of London is that there are no charges for admission. That means you could go see Titians, Raphaels, Poussins, and all the greats every single day if you so wish and only pay for the tube. Of course it is good manners to leave a pound or two in the collection boxes they have set up at the gates, but that is a small price to pay for everything there is to see.

If you want to take a break from paintings, there is the chaotic and bizarre collection of architecture outside for you to enjoy. Compared to Paris, London is a total mess, but for that reason it is never boring. (Neither is Paris, really, but let’s not go there.) The huge lines made me skip my visit to the Notre Dame, but London’s St Paul’s seemed way more inviting.

Source: Wikipedia

It is a beautiful building designed by Christopher Wren, the guy who rebuilt London after the great fire of 1666. His original plans were scrapped by the committee overseeing the construction, but even their bureaucratic sabotage was unable to . . . Well, to be honest they did ruin the original design, but a different Church which was almost as good was erected in its stead.

Source: Wikipedia

The Greek Cross design, shown above, would have been nice and symmetrical, but it was deemed too Catholic, or something, by serious minded men in dresses.

Source: Wikipedia

After some resentful revisions, what is called the Warrant design was accepted and construction could begin.

Source: Wikipedia

The final product blended the two designs together and, rather like the Anglican Church, resulted in a weird mess of concessions and closed-mindedness. The final design might not be in perfect harmony, but at least it makes for a good story.

Source: Wikipedia

Despite all this, the building is actually very handsome and since there were no lines in front of it, just people sort of hanging around in small groups, I decided it would be a good idea to go and have a peek at the artwork inside.

Source: Wikipedia

From the door, it looked like I was in for a treat. There was that eerie feel churches have and the age of the place could be felt even though everything had been kept absolutely immaculate.

Source: Wikipedia

After this, I noticed that many of the people who came in turned back fairly quickly and headed back out. What was this? Some form of drive through worship practice? Turns out they charge ten pounds to get in. It was fairly early, so I decided a sandwich and a cappuccino would be a better investment.

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