All my life I have known a bit about London by this iconic Big Ben. Some of my friends who had travelled to London, UK had given me key chains, fridge magnets, t-shirts or some souvenirs with Big Ben on it!
So when I was in London, I was very excited in visiting Big Ben. I have seen it many times online and in travel shows but nothing beats it in seeing with your own eyes. I was one of the first few places on my ‘to visit places’ in London.
I was amazed on how huge is the parliament house! The building is well maintained and looks really clean despite being so old (as of 2014, it is 156 years old!). I was very excited in snapping as many photos I could while I was there. If you are travelling to London, you must visit Big Ben!
Here are Big Ben Facts, which some of us may not know:
- The massive bell inside the clock tower, weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg)
- The tower holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower.
- Each dial is seven metres in diameter
- The minute hands are 4.2 metres long and weigh about 100kg (including counterweights)
- The numbers are approximately 60cm 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 clock face 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.
Visited in 2012.