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The Clock Tower is a turret clock structure at the north-eastern end of the Houses of Parliament building in Westminster, London, England. It is popularly known as Big Ben, but this name actually belongs to the clock's main bell. The tower has also been referred to as St. Stephen's Tower or The Tower of Big Ben, in reference to its bell.

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      03.04.2012 15:38
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      the icon of Britain

      The Big Ben has been voted the most popular landmark in the UK in a survey of 2,000 Britons and it remains one of the most popular icons of London, possibly THE most popular one together with the Palace of Westminster.

      The nick-name Big Ben is thought to originally applied to the Great Bell (a 14-tonne main bell of the Westminster clock), then to the clock as a whole, and by extension, to the clock tower.

      The tower and the clock was designed by an eminent Gothic Revival architect, Augustus Pugin (who went mad and died soon after designing it) and remains, together with the whole rebuilt Palace of Westminster, one of the masterpieces of the style. It is 96m high, with the bottom two-thirds constructed of brick with limestone cladding and the top section, a framed cast-iron spire. The clock sits 55 metres above ground and the clock faces are 7 metres in diameter, filled by pieces of opal glass. The small hand is almost 3m long, and the minute hand is over 4m long.

      I have a somewhat ambivalent attitude to the Gothic Revival style in architecture. Where I grew up, the 19th century was a somewhat barren period, architecturally, and I was taught that all the neo, mock and revival styles that appeared then were not worthy of much attention. Only on arrival in the UK I realised that the neo-Gothic (as well as other neo- and eclectic buildings) could be recognised among the greatest works of architecture in the country. I learned to appreciate, and even admire the Gothic Revival masterpieces, although I still don't actually like them that much, .

      Still, the Westminster Palace in general, and Pugin's tower in particular are seriously impressive, beautiful even, despite their over-the-top, Victorian, ''gothic'' as well as Gothic stylisation. The architects of these buildings created something more than a mockery or even a revival of of a medieval style of building. The use of cast iron elements in the spire is particularly inspired, making a link with the outstanding engineering achievements of the 19th century.

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      26.07.2009 16:20
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      A fantastic Landmark that I never tire of seeing.

      Big Ben is one of the most instantly recognisable Landmarks in London. Big Ben is a large clock tower that is located at the North-Eastern side of the Palace of Westminster and it is the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world.

      The clock first began chiming on 31st May 1859 and has only stopped or been stopped on 9 occasions either due to WW1 or WW1 or due to weather conditions or stoppage for urgent repairs.

      The film has been featured in many different films over the years including Shanghai Knights, The Thirty-Nine Steps & it also appeared to be partially destroyed in an episode of Doctor Who.

      The clock tower stands at 316 feet tall and is one of the tallest clock towers in the world. It's height just fills me with awe every single time I walk by and I always find myself stopping for a few moments to watch it and wait to hear the oh so familiar chimes ringing out. The tower is made from brick with stone cladding and on the rare occasion that anybody is allowed inside the clock tower there are around 330 limestone steps to be walked up. The interior of the tower is closed to the general public due to security reasons.

      Big Ben is in close proximity to the London Eye so when going around on the Eye it's possible to really understand just how high Big Ben is!

      Big Ben is the name of the bell itself which was rumoured to be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who oversaw the installation of the Great bell.

      I believe that Big Ben is something that all visitors and locals in London should have their photograph taken outside of. It towers over Westminster in an amazing way and it's just one of the most phenomenal Landmarks in London.

      Because Big Ben is located in the centre of London there are so many different areas to visit in the close proximity and it's easy to plan a fantastic day out around the viewing of this fantastic clock tower.

      One of most iconic moments I can remembering seeing Big Ben was at the Millenium when I was at a friend's house and we saw it on television and I will always think of it when I remember the start of the year 2000. I fought to stay up all night and was amazed that I actually managed to do it, as did my friend. I usually hear the chimes each year whenever I am, be it a friends house, nightclub etc.

      I believe that if you know an MP they may be able to arrange for you to have a tour of the interior of the building so if you are fortunate enough to be in this position then I would definitely recommend it. Also, night time is the best time to view the tower (in my opinion) as it's lit up and really stands out in the almost dark night sky.

      I would have to rate a visit to Big Ben as being 5/5 as it's the ideal background for any tourists photograph in London and if you stand on Westminster Bridge there is usually lots of people around who are willing to take photographs for you (be careful if you have an expensive camera of course!).

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      12.11.2008 22:54
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      On my recent trip to London I promised to show my fiancé a lot of the sights as he had never seen them before. We had the usual suspects on our list such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace on our list so our first stop was the huge Big Ben. My fiancé loved it, I loved it and my sister loved it and here is why.

      Ok so just in case there are people who don't know what Big Ben is. Big Ben is the huge clock tower which is in Westminster in the centre of London. it is huge and has 4 faces and actually chimes which is unusual to hear really. It is one of the largest standing clocks in the world and is an impressive sight to see. It was raised in 1834 so is very old too.

      Right so you are looking for Big Ben and what we chose to do was to walk straight from Charing Cross down by the Thames and it was so nice seeing all of the restaurant ferries and all of the nice architecture along the banks. You can get the tube to Waterloo though which is very close but I really do recommend the walk.

      Now you really cannot miss Big Ben as it is massive and takes over this part of London in my opinion as the beautiful gold structure with its imposing four faces looks amazing. It is right by Westminster Bridge and the houses of Parliament so as you can imagine it is such a impressive sight.

      It towers above the houses and Westminster Bridge and when you see it you immediately want to get a photo to say you have been there. My fiancé just stood there staring for ages. I seriously could not get him to move and we were there staring at it for about half hour.

      Have to admit though that the reason it is so nice making a visit to Big Ben is because it is such a nice area there and it is worth going to if you are in London. There is the Thames right there which is simply stunning and then there is lots to do around this area. We went over to look at the Dali museum and there was also the aquarium and the London Eye around.

      I have not got much more to say about Big Ben as for a sight seeing topic it is beautiful but in the end it is a clock. I love it and it is impressive to look at so I do recommend going to visit it but you will only be there for a little while staring at it.

      It has its reputation as it is a London sight to see and it is in a perfect area which you can spend a full day around so it is no wonder why it is always on top of 'must see in London' lists.

      Go see if you are in London.

      Thanks for reading.

      xxx

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        22.02.2008 23:24
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        boring boring

        When i visited london last year, Big Ben was on my list of things i "had to see" as it is so well known. but when i saw it i have to admit i was completely dissapointed. I would definately say to those who are thinking of visiting london that this is one thing that can be taken off your list,giveing you more time to spend at the "better " attractions. By all means take a few pictures as you are going past it on a bus etc but i wouldnt waste any time stopping.......

        The building-The clock tower is around 316 feet tall and is made up of brick with a stone cladding. it rests on concrete foundations and has a cast iron sphere. Over the years there has been repare work done to it - if it was up to me i wouldnt bother the building is not that great, its not even the largest tunnel clock in the world anymore,so it dosnt have that going for it either

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