Big Ben Unveiled: A Timeless Journey Through History with London Sightseeing Taxi Tours

Exploring the Grandeur of Big Ben

Visiting Big Ben, the iconic landmark of London, is a captivating experience packed with history and grandeur. As one of London’s most famous landmarks, the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, commonly known as Big Ben, stand as a testament to British architectural prowess and cultural heritage. Contrary to popular belief, Big Ben technically refers to the massive bell inside the clock tower, weighing over 13 tons. The tower itself was originally called St. Stephen’s Tower until 2012, when it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

A Historical Deep Dive into Elizabeth Tower

Big Ben’s history is closely linked to the Palace of Westminster, which was destroyed by fire in 1834. The decision to include a tower and a clock in the new Parliament buildings led to its construction. The clock tower was designed by Edmund Beckett Denison and Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal, while Edward John Dent and Frederick Dent constructed the clock. The first bell, cast by John Warner & Sons, cracked and had to be recast at Whitechapel in 1858. Big Ben first rang across Westminster on May 31, 1859. Interestingly, the bell cracked again in September 1859, and a lighter hammer was fitted, which is how we hear Big Ben today.

Big Ben: More Than Just a Clock Tower

Some fun facts about Big Ben include its dials being seven meters in diameter, minute hands 4.2 meters long, and the presence of 312 pieces of glass in each clock dial. Big Ben’s timekeeping is meticulously regulated by a stack of coins placed on its huge pendulum. Despite facing several challenges, including bombings during the Second World War, Big Ben has rarely stopped and continues to be a symbol of resilience and endurance.

For those interested in visiting this remarkable structure, guided tours are available, taking visitors up to the clock mechanism room and offering a close-up view of the iconic bell. The recent restoration of the Elizabeth Tower, completed in 2022, included refurbishing the clock face to its original Victorian style and changing the iconic dials back to their original Prussian blue color.

Navigating to Big Ben: A Visitor’s Guide

Visitors to London can easily reach Big Ben, located in the Elizabeth Tower at the north end of The Houses of Parliament in Westminster, by various London bus routes or the Westminster Tube station.

Discovering Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower through London Sightseeing Taxi Tours offers an exclusive and comfortable way to explore these iconic landmarks along with other key attractions in London, providing a holistic sightseeing experience.

For more information on Big Ben, you can visit the official UK Parliament website.

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