Did you know that Christopher Wren was born today in 1632? He was an English scientist, mathematician, and architect. He studied many things including astronomy, magnetism, anatomy, meteorology, and optics. During Christopher Wren’s time, the profession or career of ‘architect’ did not exist. Building design and architecture was a part of mathematics. In 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed two-thirds of London. Christopher Wren was selected to help design and rebuild the city including St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is now one of London’s most famous and recognized landmarks.
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In the Old Style calendar, Christopher Wren was born on October 20th.
Christopher Wren was one of the founders of the Royal Society and his scientific work was respected by Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal.
Christopher Wren was working to repair Old St. Paul’s Cathedral before the Great Fire of London. In 1663 he traveled to Paris to study design and building construction.
Christopher Wren worked on 51 of the churches rebuilt after the Great London Fire.
The dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967.
St. Paul’s Cathedral left an impact in architecture. Other buildings influenced by Wren’s design include St. Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg and the US Capitol in Washington DC.
In 1723, Christopher Wren passed away and was buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral. A plaque beneath the center of the dome reads:
Here in its foundations lies the architect of this church and city, Christopher Wren, who lived beyond ninety years, not for his own profit but for the public good. Reader, if you seek his monument – look around you. Died 25 Feb. 1723, age 91.