Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are undoubtedly symbols of London – these buildings are among the most famous and the most visited by tourists. Also if you are planning your trip to London, you cannot forget about these two sights that await you in the city center.
Palace of Westminster is one of the famed landmarks in London. It is worth to see and visit, because in the interior you can see its richly decorated halls and learn more about the history of the monument and the whole country.
Palace of Westminster is a meeting place for Parliament of the United Kingdom (House of Lords and House of Commons). It's located in the City of Westminster, on the left bank of the River Thames. You can watch it in all its glory from the opposite shore and from the nearby sights, such as the London Eye. Nearby is also the famous clock tower Big Ben, so being in this area you should devote time to see all available historical sites.
The building has a rich history. Its origins date back to eleventh century, when Westminster Hall was built – it exists until today. Initially, the palace was used as the place of the rulers, but from the beginning of the sixteenth century monarchs did not live there no longer. The current structure of the building comes mainly from the nineteenth century, because in 1843 the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. An architect who managed the work was Sir Charles Barry. Since then, the building has neo-Gothic style.
In the palace there are over 1,000 different rooms – the most important are the ones for the House of Lords and House of Commons. Also you can found here libraries, lobbies, meeting rooms for parliamentary committees, and even dining rooms, bars and gyms and many other. Today, visitors can tour the palace – inside there are many interesting exhibition and you can watch its various rooms.
One of the most famous part of the palace is the clock tower Big Ben – w clock and bell. Big Ben is a clock tower, which belongs to the Palace of Westminster. The name originally referred to the bell from St. Stephen's Tower, also known as The Clock Tower. Today the name Big Ben often refers to both the bell and the clock and the tower. In 2012 the tower was named Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and her 60 years reign.
Construction of the tower began in 1843, when a large part of the palace was destroyed by fire. A neo-Gothic structure with a height of 96.3 meters was constructed. The clock of Big Ben is 7 meters in diameter. The tower has to 334 steps. On each clock is the the inscription Salve Domine fac Reginam nostram Victoriam primam (Lord save our Queen Victoria I). Although the clock has already more than 150 years, still keeps time very accurately. There was a few delays, including in 1949 a flock of birds sat on hand showing the minutes, the clock was delayed about 41 minutes, while in 1962 New Year's Eve Big Ben was late 10 minutes due to snowfall. On the tower there is a large bell and a few smaller bells. The bells can be heard on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.
Palace of Westminster
London SW1A 0AA