Christopher Wren bigraphy, stories - An English architect and mathematician

Christopher Wren : biography

A future Mathematician and architect Christopher Wren was born in 1632 in a small town East Knoyle in England. His father was a high-ranking priest of the Anglican church who was good at architecture and other science fields. Christopher received ordinary education for that time: firstly he studied in Saint Paul’s School in London, then he got higher education in the University of Oxford in Wadham college and became a bachelor after graduating from university. In 1653 he became a holder of a master’s degree, and in four years Wren became a professor of astronomy in Grasham college in London.

In other four years Christopher Wren became a professor of mathematics in Oxford. As a mathematician he investigated the problems of quadrature and cubature of cycloid, pendulum’s swinging and spheres’ collision. Besides he was interested in shipbuilding, mechanism of sails and oars. Simultaneously Wren occupied himself with architecture studying without assistance, studied Italian and French works, architectural treatises. He started to practice his architectural knowledge in 1663 when he restored Saint Paul’s Cathedral and built the Sheldonian theatre. In 1665 Wren visited France and made the acquaintance of famous architects including Italian architect Bernini. This trip influenced on his architectural work a lot.

After London’s Great Fire the major part of the city was ruined and Wren was charged with making the city’s planning. But some circumstances didn’t enable it to be realized. Wren made plans of 52 churches’ restoration, many new brick houses were built according to his projects.

By that time Christopher Wren became a famous architect. In 1669 h was appointed to be a royal architect and in several years he received a big and important order to build a new Saint Paul’s Cathedral which became the main Wren’s masterpiece and immortalized his name. Wren made several projects for Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and the final project resembled the burnt cathedral but was more monumental and majestic. Besides Wren managed to achieve harmony between different parts of the building. The cathedral’s rebuilding lasted for six years till 1711. Apart from this work Wren carried out many other orders: he built Trinity College library in the University of Cambridge, London monument in memoriam of the Great Fire, Saint Stephan’s church, Greenwich hospital and many other buildings. Greenwich hospital was the last project of the architect; it was completed in 1716 and consisted of two parts and towers with bells.

Christopher Wren served to five kings who quickly replaced each other ascend the throne. In 1718 he left the post of the royal architect and in five years he died in Hampton Court. Wren’s ideas were being developed for several generations of architects and has influenced deeply on Europe and USA church architecture.

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Living octopus

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