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Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren (October 20, 1632 - February 25, 1723) was an English architect of the seventeenth century, famous for his role in the re-building of London's churches after the Great Fire of London of 1666.

Wren is particularly known for his design for St Paul's Cathedral, one of very few cathedrals in England to have been built after the medieval period, and the only Renaissance cathedral in the country. An inscription inside the cathedral, dedicated to the architect, reads, "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice" ("If you seek his memorial, look around you").

Born in 1632 in Wiltshire, Wren was the son of the dean of Windsor. His academic career was centered at Oxford, where he was a member of both Wadham and All Soul's Colleges. In 1657, he became professor of astronomy at Gresham College[?] and four years later he became the Savilian Professor of astronomy[?] at Oxford until his resignation in 1673. Wren was also one of the founder member of the Royal Society, of which he was president from 1680 to 1682.

His first serious architectural venture was the Sheldonian Theatre, which can still be seen at Oxford, and he designed various other university buildings in both Oxford and Cambridge.

After the Great Fire of London, he was selected as the architect of the new St Paul's, the previous building having been destroyed. The design and construction of the new cathedral took from 1675 to 1710, and in the interim Wren designed many other buildings, including over fifty London churches, many of which remain standing. These include St Mary le Bow[?], St Clement Danes[?], and St Stephen Walbrook[?]. In addition, he was involved in the design of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Chelsea Hospital[?], Greenwich Hospital[?], Marlborough House, the Ashmolean Museum, the Wren Library[?], and many other distinguished buildings.

Christopher Wren was Knighted in 1652 and also served as a member of the Parliament in 1685-1688 and 1702-1705.

Wren died in 1723 and was buried at St Paul's.



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