Big Ben

Big Ben

Big Ben is probably the most famous symbol and the 'voice' of London and Great Britain though not many people are aware that Big Ben is not the official but everyday name of the Clock Tower of Westminster Palace. Originally, Big Ben was the name of the huge bell that weighs 14 tons and that tolled for the first time in 1859. Apart from the bell, the clock and 4 small bells are installed on the tower. The size of the main bell really impresses - it is 2.29 m tall and 2.74 m in diameter. Big Ben acquired its unique sound after it cracked and a square hole had to be made in the bell. Would you like to hear the sound? Even if you are far-far away from London, you can hear it live on ВВС, every hour its toll is broadcast thanks to the microphones installed in the tower. Big Ben clock as a typical punctual Englishman shows the most precise time in the world, despite its considerable age. Though in August 2015 the entire world heard the news that the famous clock is 6 seconds fast! Mechanism of the clock had to be urgently balanced. In 2017 Big Ben had to be closed for repair works, which will take approximately several years, currently there are no excursion tours.

The Clock Tower was designed and built as a part of the architectural complex of Westminster Palace. Its height is 96 meters, the spiral stairs with 334 steps leads to a small open platform. There are several legends about the name of Big Ben. One of them goes that the tower acquired its name due to considerable size of the main bell and the name of the representative of the House of Lords who was responsible for construction works - Benjamin Hall. The tower is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of Elizabeth II on September, 2012. There is also a sad news in the life of the major London's symbol: the tower of the Palace of Parliament had considerable sink and leaned by 45 centimetres.

Address: Westminster
How to reach: tube Westminster; bus 148, 211; Westminster Pier
Coordinates: 51.50072, -0.12462