Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paternoster Square in the Shadow of St. Paul's

Where modern buildings abound among historical structures, the likely story is the original buildings were victims of World War II. Paternoster Row, a street with origins to medieval times, was devastated in 1940 by aerial bombardment in the German Blitz. After a previously unloved redevelopment in the 1960s, the new Paternoster Square was completed in 2004.

The new square includes a vast piazza and modern office buildings that complement the historic St. Paul's Cathedral near it. The centerpiece of the square is the Paternoster Square Column topped by a flaming copper urn that is illuminated at night. It is sometimes referred to as "the pineapple". With the offices of the London Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs and CB Richard Ellis on site and Merrill Lynch nearby, the area is busy on weekdays with office workers.

For visitors this is the perfect place to relax or find something to eat at one of the square's restaurants. At lunchtime you may have to stand in lines along with workers on their break. I stopped at the square to figure out what to see in lieu of St. Paul's. With a lack of shade and so much concrete, the square was quite hot on this Monday morning. Since it was past 11am, I also decided to grab a lunch before moving on in addition to finding some shade. I still continue to wonder why it is so warm in London. More info at paternosterlondon.co.uk.


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