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Inigo Jones Inigo Jones was the first man to bring the Italian Renaissance style to Great Britain. He had studied in Italy for some years, and in 1615 became Surveyour-General of the works. His buildings were very un-English in character, with regularly spaced columns along the front. His most revolutionary designs were Banqueting House in Whitehall and the Queen’s House in Greenwich. All those, who followed him had to adapt this new foreign building technique to English ways and English climate, English building materials and English craftsmen.
Christopher Wren was the man who did it. He was a mathematician, an astronomer and, above all, an inventor. He invented new ways of using traditional English building materials, brick and ordinary roofing tiles, to keep within the limits of classical design. He, like Inigo Jones, was appointed Surveyor General to the Crown when he was about 30 years old, and almost immediately he started rebuilding the churches of London, burnt down in Great fire of 1666. Wren’s churches are chiefly known by their beautiful spires which show in their structure the greatest engineering cunning. But Ch. Wren also influenced the design of houses, both in town and in the country. The best-known buildings designed by Ch. Wren are St. Pauls Cathedral in London and Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. Christopher Wren (1632-1723)
St. Paul’s Cathedral St. Paul’s Cathedral is said to be one of the finest pieces of architecture in Europe. Old St. Paul’s Cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. For 35 years the building of St.Paul’s Cathedral went on, and Wren was an old man before it was finished. The interior of the Cathedral is very beautiful. It is full of monuments. The most important, perhaps, is one dedicated to the Duke of Wellington. After looking round you can climb 263 steps to the Whispering Gallery, which runs round the dome. It is called so because if someone whispers close to the wall on one side, a person with his ear close to the wall on the other side can hear what is said. As for Christopher Wren, who is known as the “architect of London”, he found his fame only after his death. He was buried in the Cathedral. Buried here are Nelson, Wellington and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The Sheldonian Theatre The Theatre is used for music recitals, lectures (such as the annual Romanes Lecture), conferences, and for various ceremonies held by the University (such as graduation and matriculation). Handel conducted the first performance of his third oratorio Athalia here in 1733. Today, the theatre is home to regular performances by local groups, including the Oxford Philomusica and Stornoway (band). The latter were the first ever pop band to play in the space, joined by the student-led Oxford Millenium Orchestra for their first single launch in 2009, then again to celebrate the launch of their third LP, in 2014. The building seats between 800 and 1000 people.
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