Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash
Can you take photos in St Paul's Cathedral?
The short answer is yes, but there are quite a lot of restrictions, which you can see below. But this is better than some other big churches in London, which ban photography altogether.
Photo by Jacob Hilton on Unsplash
St Paul's Cathedral is an iconic symbol of London, ever since it was rebuilt after The Great Fire of London in 1666. The Cathedral is on the must-visit list of many tourists to London and of course those tourists want to take photos to show the folks back home.
But St Paul's is also a working church with regular services. Its main purpose is as a place of worship and prayer. And it is a pretty important church, right up there with Westminster Abbey in the grand scheme of things.
The rules around photography are an attempt to balance these two realities, to allow the work of the Cathedral to continue and at the same time to allow hundreds of thousands of tourists to visit respectfully and to create lasting memories.
The rules are:
If you think these restrictions are a bit limiting, then you are right, but they are an improvement on the previous rules, which were photography NOT allowed anywhere at any time!
Credit: Darren Lewis
Until June 2019, photography wasn't allowed in St Paul's Cathedral at all. In this St Paul's was in good company - photography was (and still is) banned in Westminster Abbey.
But this rule was widely ignored by tourists visiting the Cathedral and not enforced rigorously by the Cathedral staff. It may be that with everyone now in possession of a smartphone, the Cathedral decided to accept the inevitable and change the rules.
The Cathedral may also have felt that by allowing photography but with certain restrictions, they might be able to protect what was important, and prevent photography during services and in restricted and sensitive areas.
St Paul's is a vast building, the largest church in London and the second largest in the United Kingdom. It has also existing as a church in the same place for over 1400 hundred years; the current building is over 300 years old. So it won't be a surprise that there is an lot to see on a visit.
The highlights include:
We all have our own view of great and good, St Paul's include the tombs of Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Christopher Wren and the Duke of Wellington.
There are memorials to Florence Nightingale (who refused to be buried in the Cathedral), J. M. W. Turner, Samuel Johnson, Lawrence of Arabia, William Blake and Sir Alexander Fleming.
The Whispering Gallery is so called because it is said that you can hear someone whispering on the other side of the Gallery, the acoustics are so good. You just have to hope for a quiet day to test the legend.
The important things you need to know about visiting this stunning building are below.