Monday, July 13, 2015

London, England: Big Ben

Big Ben is the nickname of the bell that rings out in the tower of the Palace of Westminster in London. However, many people use it as a reference to the entire clock. It's an iconic sight. Whenever a television show wants to indicate that the story has shifted to London, the clock is inevitably shown.

The tower was built after a fire destroyed the old structure in 1834. It is not open to the public, although UK residents can contact their legislator to receive a tour and have the chance to walk up 334 stairs to the top.

The bells have been silenced a few times. Sometimes there are mechanical problems, but at others it's deliberate - such as during the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

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