THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
The Palace of Westminster, which is also known as the House of Parliament, is the place where the two Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) conduct their meetings. The palace is located on the north bank of the River Thames and is part of the places declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
The oldest part of the palace is the so-called Westminster Hall, which was built in 1097. The palace was originally used as a royal residence. Most of the current structure was built mainly in the nineteenth century. When the palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. The architects responsible for rebuilding the palace were Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin. The palace is above all an example of the new Gothic style, it contains over 1,000 rooms, the most important of which are the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Since 1987, UNESCO has included the Palace of Westminster on the list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. The inscription also includes Westminster Abbey and the small medieval church of St. Margaret, built in a perpendicular Gothic style.
THE BIG BEN
Big Ben is the name of the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. The tower was built after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. It took 13 years to build the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. While the tower was completed in 1856. The tower was designed in the Victorian Gothic style and has a height of 96.32 meters. At the time of its construction, the clock mechanism was the largest in the world. The Big Ben clock has a diameter of 2.44 meters, weighs 13.5 tons, and was cast in 1858 by George Mears.
Next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Abbey. While not far away are the famous Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and the gardens of St. James’s Park. To finish on the other side of the Thames are the British Airways London Eye and the London Aquarium.
How to get there: To reach Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the underground station to use is Westminster, you will exit right under Big Ben.