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May 31st 1859, LONDONS MOST ICONIC LANDMARK (BIG BEN) OPENS!

Big Bend was under Construction and now is open!In 2017, the tower was scaffolded and the clock was stopped for several months with no chiming. Some holidays were exceptions!

What is Big Ben?

Big Ben is the name given to the very large bell inside of the clock tower. It weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg). The clock tower has four faces, which at night look breathtaking!

Photo Credit: Efe Efe @justefe

Originally before Big Ben was there, The Palace of Westminster was built in that very spot. However, The Palace of Westminster was destroyed in a fire in 1834. In 1844 Big Ben was decided to be included in the remodel.

Visitlondon.com listed some very interesting facts about Big Ben that I never knew:

  • Each dial is seven metres in diameter
  • The minute hands are 4.2 metres long (14ft) and weigh about 100kg (220lbs, including counterweights)
  • The numbers are approximately 60cm (23in) long
  • There are 312 pieces of glass in each clock dial
  • A special light above the clock faces is illuminated when parliament is in session
  • Big Ben’s timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum.
  • Big Ben has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to strike the hours.
  • The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day.
  • The latin words under the clockface read DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM, which means “O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First”
  • In June 2012 the House of Commons announced that the clock tower was to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Next time you are in London, take a walk across Westminster Bridge. The views are breathtaking!

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