I love Westminster Cathedral (not to confuse with the Abbey!). It’s tucked away just off Victoria street, 5min walk from the London Victoria station, in what apparently, as Google Maps inform me, is called the Cathedral Piazza. Piazza in the centre of London? Ok… See http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d211750-Reviews-Westminster_Cathedral-London_England.html for beautiful photos.
Undoubtedly, St Paul’s is the London’s cathedral landmark and as beautiful as cathedral can get, in a classical way. But for me, Westminster Cathedral is the best. It is uniquely beautiful outside as well as inside. On the outside, it reminds me of temples of Andalucia, with their mix of Arabic and European art. On the inside, it’s also quite original, large and inspirational. I’ve been to many cathedrals across Europe, this is one of my favourite.
I work nearby and often visit Westminster for quiet time away from it all, reflection and contemplation, usually in my lunch time. The cathedral also holds masses and concerts, as well as other events, they have the web site where you can check their calendar, and I’ve recently seen them advertise in the Victoria Shopping Centre – the sign of times 🙂
From my last visit I picked up a brochure, on November 14th, the Parliament Choir will perform Brahms Requiem in the cathedral. It starts at 6.30pm, tickets available from ticketmaster from £10. I was going to go but I believe that those working in the Parliament should really perform for free – as the service to the people whose taxes pay their salaries. Besides, we hear enough of MPs throughout the day, on the news, to hear them more in the evening, and as a choir 🙂 However, to a London visitor, this may sound like a fun thing to do.
As a fan of organ music, the Grand Organ Festival 2012 at Westminster Cathedral interests me more. There is a performance on October 17th at 7.30pm, this is the info from their web site:
‘The seventh recital in the Grand Organ Festival will be given by the Cathedral’s Assistant Master of Music, Peter Stevens… Peter will be playing music by JS Bach, Buxtehude, Franck, Fricker, Messiaen and Durufle. Entry is FREE (retiring collection). To download the GOF brochure with full programme details for each recital, please follow this link: http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/music_organ_recitals.php’
Sounds good! How I could make this into a 3 hour tour? There is a number of good places around Victoria where we could head for dinner – anything from democratic sushi or chinese to more upscale Turkish and European. My latest find is Boisdale, the Scottish pub/ restaurant/ club, so I suggest we head there. Then a short walk to the Westminster Cathedral, and hopefully a fantastic evening of organ music.
Let me know if this sounds interesting.