Palace of Westminster

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The Palace of Westminster informally known as the Houses of Parliament. It serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London.

The Elizabeth Tower, is commonly known as Big Ben. The name comes from the heaviest of the 5 bells.

In 1834 there was a great fire. The palace was rebuilt by architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin in the Perpendicular Gothic Revival style between 1840 and 1876.

It rises up from the ground in this stately rhythm, higher and higher, before you reach the clock face, picked out as a giant rose, its petals fringed with gold. There’s some medieval windows above that and then you hits the grey [cast iron] roof, its greyness relieved by these delicate little windows, again picked out in gold leaf. And then it rises up again in this great jet of gold to the higher roof that curves gracefully upwards to a spire with a crown and flowers and a cross. It’s elegant, it’s grand, it’s pretty and has this fairy-tale quality and it makes you proud to be British.

Richard Taylor gives a description of the Elizabeth Tower | BBC 4

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