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St Paul's Cathedral, where Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held on Wednesday, has hosted momentous national events over the centuries and is one of the most recognized buildings in London.
Rising 112 meters above the British capital, Christopher Wren's masterpiece is at least the fourth to have stood on the site.
Some of Britain's greatest heroes are entombed inside, while royal weddings, state funerals, memorials and celebrations have all taken place underneath its giant dome.
"St Paul's is London's cathedral and embodies the spiritual life and heritage of the British people," the Anglican Church says.
Its last great funeral was that of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill in 1965, the last of the few British subjects afforded a state funeral.
Previous war heroes Horatio Nelson, killed in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, and Battle of Waterloo victor the Duke of Wellington also had state funerals at St Paul's.
(China Daily 04/18/2013 page12)