Sir Christopher Wren, the foremost architect in Britain in the 17th century, was born 382 years ago today on Oct. 20, 1632.
The Oxford graduate, known for his neoclassical style, supervised the rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire half destroyed the capital in 1666.
He was appointed Surveyor of the Royal Works in 1669, three years after the Great Fire, and designed the plans for 52 churches in London alone.
Wren is most famous for the rebuilding of London’s largest church, St Paul’s Cathedral, which was rebuilt after the fire and opened in 1711.
Born the son of a parish cleric, in East Knowle, Wiltshire, Wren was knighted a Sir for his famous works.
To celebrate his birthday, Google UK featured a doodle with a compass and ruler today.
The facade of St Paul's Cathedral is designed in neoclassical style, with two rows of columns below a triangular tympanum. The two towers on the sides are a reminder of the medieval origin of the church.
The dome of St Paul's seen from the Millennium Bridge. The dome is one of the largest in the world and used to be London's tallest building until 1953.
The Monument is a commemoration of the Great Fire. It is built on the exact same location where the fire started in a bakery shop on the night of Sept. 2, 1666
St Vedast Church in Fleet Street is famous for journalists in London. The tall spire is one of Wren's signatory features, balancing the neoclassical style with gothic elements in church architecture.
St Mary Le Bow is another one of London's oldest buildings. Completely destroyed in the Great Fire, Wren rebuilt it with a taller tower.
Wren was also commissioned for several civic palaces. This one is Hampton Court, one of the residences of the British monarch, on the Thames River west of London.
Marlborough House is the London residence of the duke of the same name, just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace.
Kensington Palace is another residence of the British monarchy. Until recently, Prince William and Kate Middleton lived here.
Hospitals are another typical type of building from Wren. This is the Royal Chelsea, still used as a retirement house for pensioners of the British army.
Greenwich Hospital was built in 1692 for pensioners of the Navy. It now hosts the Royal Naval College, as well as seasonal exhibitions.
Not too far from Greenwich Hospital is Greenwich Observatory, where you can straddle the Prime Meridian. This building was also built by Wren, which was a departure from his characteristic style.
The University of Cambridge also commissioned several buildings to Wren, including the library of Trinity College.
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