St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's is the seat of the Bishop of London and mother church of the Diocese of London. As part of an ongoing arts project, a specially commissioned video installation by Bill Viola is on display inside the cathedral.

For more than 1400 years, a cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the city. The present incarnation is the masterpiece of British architect Sir Christopher Wren, and was built between 1675 and 1710 after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Services began here in 1697.

This was the first cathedral to be built after the English Reformation, when Henry VIII removed the Church of England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and the crown took control of the life of the church.

Permanent collections

The St Paul’s Cathedral Arts Project is an ongoing programme which seeks to explore the encounter between art and faith. Projects have included installations by Gerry Judah, Antony Gormley, Rebecca Horn, Yoko Ono and Martin Firrell.

As of May 2014, visitors can see Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), a large-scale permanent video installation by artist Bill Viola. The installation is the first moving-image artwork to be installed in a British cathedral or church on a long-term basis.

Created in collaboration with Kira Perov, the piece shows four individuals being martyred by the classical elements - earth, water, wind and fire. As the work opens the matyrs are shown in stillness, but gradually an element of nature begins to assault them, until they pass from death into the light. 

Visitor information

Your ticket allows access to visit the Bill Viola installation, the whole of the Cathedral floor and crypt, an audio guide and/or guided tour and access to the three gallery levels.


Venue details

St Paul's Cathedral St Paul's Churchyard London EC4M 8AD 020 7246 8348 www.stpauls.co.uk

Entry details

£8.25 with National Art Pass (standard entry £16.50)

Mon – Sat, 8.30am – 4pm

As a busy working church, there are occasions when the cathedral has special closures. Please check the website or call 020 7246 8350 for details. Please note the Bill Viola installation cannot be viewed on Sundays or during services on Saturdays.