04 September 2016

Photo-op in St Pauls Cathedral

The special evening opening filled the cathedral with hordes of visitors and their cameras.

Outside, crowds waiting for ... something ...
 Waiting for the Domino Topple that re-enacted the spread of the flames of the Great Fire of 1666.
 As the clock struck 7, it rushed past the cathedral, unlike the conflagration that burnt up Old St Pauls.
And the crowds ran after it: 
As gravity did its work, onlookers were drawn helplessly on, unable to resist the satisfying clunk of block-on-block physics. (videos here)
Inside the cathedral were all the usual grand subjects -

There's a personal story about the dome, which is actually an inner dome within the outer dome. You can climb up to the whispering gallery (256 steps) and then up to the stone gallery (376 steps) and go outside to see the view. After that you can climb between the inner dome and outer dome to get to the golden gallery (528 steps, most of them grillework, and narrow, and steep). Beyond the golden gallery there is a further stretch - it was open to climbers in the 1970s, the good old days before Health&Safety, and I was young and brave/determined/foolish enough to carry on up those steps, or rather, ladders. At the top stood a bored old [it seemed at the time] man, having a cigarette and listening to Radio 3 on his little transistor radio. We caught our breath, looked out of one or two of the round windows under the golden ball and lantern, didn't have a long talk with the warder, and made our way back down, which was every bit as frightening as going up. It hardly seems possible.

In the crypt, acres of mosaic floors -

and memorials to musicians, poets, artists
John Constable and Philip Wilson Steer
As well as military greats -
The audioguide noted the change in war memorials, from glorifying the leaders to representing the multitudes who lost - or gave, depending on your viewpoint - their lives, such as the two crosses by Gerry Judah in the nave -
Once again my camera turned to a favourite subject - feet moving over floors. What was underfoot went unheeded as people turned their cameras upwards. (A favourite ploy was a timed shot with the camera laid on the floor, pointing upwards at the centre of the dome.)

I clicked merrily away -
trying out different places -
 and found this "river of light" with feet stepping across and into it -

 Call it "research" ... perhaps one day there'll be another "Museum Maze" book?

1 comment:

Charlton Stitcher said...

These are fascinating in their repetition and the unexpected nature of the close ups ... a lovely post!