Easter at St Pauls Cathedral -- a Free Virtual Tour

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Explore St Paul's Cathedral is the free, Official Virtual Tour of this beautiful Anglican cathedral in London. The website includes forty "360-degree" photographic panoramas, 26 mini-movies, narration, maps, full text for the hearing-impaired, and downloadable MS Word files (with pictures) for non-commercial use by schools.

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The most sophisticated virtual tour. You can almost hear your footsteps reverberate around the rooms

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Free for Easter Holidays: Web Surfers can now take an online Virtual Tour of the exquisite St Paul's Cathedral in London, from the comfort of their own armchairs at -- http://www.explore-stpauls.net -- Explore St Paul's Cathedral.

Technological advances by the Armchair Travel Company have now made it possible for tourists, teachers, historians and students to take an interactive, "virtual tour" around Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, as if they were there. They will be able to see and hear everything about the cathedral's architecture, history and religion by simply entering our website.

  • "The most sophisticated virtual tour. You can almost hear your footsteps reverberate around the rooms," says The Daily Mail of London.

Explore St Paul's Cathedral, which has been just been opened as a completely free-entry website to the general public by the Armchair Travel Company Ltd., is the second in a series of 'World Heritage Explorer series' web sites.

  • "A comprehensive virtual tour of this stunning monument," says Open Directory Project.

The London-based company has employed a technique it has developed over ten years called Virtual Travel®, based on proprietary photographic techniques, Adobe Flash, and the Java PTviewer Panoramic Display Engine. The site displays 360-degree panoramic views, maps, movies, and narration to create a photographic, fully interactive tour. The site also includes a full set of Microsoft Word files, including pictures, for use by schools, teachers and students.

  • "Quite staggering and a superb piece of work," says the Rev. Duncan Ross.

Upon entering the front door at Explore St Paul's Cathedral http://www.explore-stpauls.net, 'virtual visitors' can look around by panning left and right on the small panos. Having spotted something of interest they can click to open a window with a much larger and higher quality 360 panorama, and then zoom in and pan around for closer looks. For example, they can view close-up details of the High Altar, or the American Memorial Chapel, dedicated to the American servicemen and women who lost their lives in World War II.

An easy-to-follow map also ensures that, unlike the real tourist, they can jump around the cathedral and its crypt at the click of a button. There are even exclusive 360-degree panoramic views taken from the Golden Gallery, the Roof balconies, and the Crypt Treasury. Also included are locations such as The Great Model by Sir Christopher Wren - the original, unrealised design for "new" St Paul's. All of the panoramas have descriptive narration, text and downloadable MS Word files with pictures.

William Beckett from Armchair Travel said, "If a user wanted to see and hear everything on the website, it would take over three hours to view it all, thus making this the most comprehensive interactive guided tour yet produced on the world-wide web. Our website will make this World Heritage Site available to a wide range of virtual visitors who would otherwise never be able to see its splendor.

Armchair Travel's "World Heritage Explorer" programs will help alleviate the burden for access to internationally important sites, such as the Taj Mahal and Kew Gardens. Many of the most famous heritage sites are threatened with closure to prevent the damage caused by admitting yet more tourists."

Three hundred years of history are brought to life, with the key figures in the story of the cathedral being presented in 26 specially produced movies (suitable for both broadband and dialup connection). These include video essays on the main features of the cathedral, such as its extensive statuary, historic monuments, secluded chapels, famous personalities and especially those features not visible to most tourists, for example: the small bust of George Washington in the Crypt.

William Donelson from Armchair Travel said: "As the uptake of broadband in the home expands, people will increasingly look to the World Wide Web for entertainment as well as information, and travel seems likely to prove one of the most popular subjects. Armchair Travel is at the forefront of this new technology."

Additional Images and Information - Please Contact:

William Beckett – (44) 207-589 6873 – Armchair Travel Co Ltd. 21 Queens Gate Place, London SW7 5NY, England. http://www.armchair-travel.com

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