1 Star, yawn2 Stars, OK3 Stars, interesting4 Stars, worth a detour5 Stars, worth a journey
(6 Votes, average 3.67)

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St Paul’s Cathedral is an iconic building in the centre of London. High up in the central dome is a Whispering Gallery, which I remember visiting as a child. Climb 259 steps inside the dome, stand on one side of the circular gallery and talk very quietly and your speech can be heard quite clearly on the other side some 30m away.

St Paul’s is a circular whispering gallery. In this case, sound hugs the walls, allowing it to move from one side of the room to another without getting a lot quieter – the diagram shows some of the paths that the whispers take around the perimeter of the gallery.

Diagram showing sound in a circular whispering gallery

Sound paths in a circular whispering gallery

Location and Logistics

St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD.  Admission information. It’s worth arriving early in the morning and going straight to the Dome, because once the space gets busy it’s hard to pick out the whispering gallery effect amongst the hubbub.

Sources

[*] Thumbnail on map: Nanonic Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License