The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster in London is known worldwide as Big Ben.
В The House of Lords and the House of Commons meet at the Palace of Westminster, the many kilometers of its corridors are easy to lose track of, there is hardly a person who has been in all of its 1200 rooms, but the most famous part of the Palace – the clock tower – is, without exaggeration, known throughout the world and is one of the most striking architectural symbols of the city.
Interesting facts about Big Ben
The height of the tower is 96 meters, inside it hides a narrow spiral staircase of 334 steps.
After passing them all, you can get to a small open area, on which is the famous bell of Big Ben.
It is he who strikes the time every hour, it is his sound transmitted every hour by BBC radio. It is this bell that gave its name to both the clock and the tower itself.
The bell is huge: 2 meters in height and 3 meters at the base. The clock is no less striking in size: it is 7 meters in diameter and the hands are 2.7 and 4.2 meters long.
The clock was activated on May 21, 1859 (the tower itself was built a year earlier) and is still listed as one of the largest clocks in the world. Its four faces are made of opal glass, flanked by gilded frames and have a Latin inscription that translates as ‘God Save Our Queen Victoria.
The clocks also have a global significance: officially, the new year on planet Earth begins with the first strike of Big Ben on January 1.
It is interesting that Londoners living near the Palace of Westminster on New Year’s Eve hear thirteen strikes of the Big Ben bell: the effect is due to the fact that the speed of sound is slower than the speed of radio waves.
Unfortunately, the general public does not have the opportunity to climb the Big Ben Tower: safety concerns are paramount. But from time to time members of the press and various important guests of Great Britain get the opportunity to climb it. But even important guests have to climb the stairs on their own: there are no elevators inside the tower.
The Big Ben Clock Tower has systematically become the “heroine” of many movies, embodying the image of London.