Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and for good reason. The 96-meter (315-foot) tower is a symbol of London and the United Kingdom, and its distinctive chimes are known to people all over the world.
After being closed for two years for renovations, Big Ben tours are finally reopening in July 2023. If you're planning a trip to London, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of the world's most famous landmarks up close.
History And Significance Of Big Ben
Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell of the Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster in London. The bell was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was the First Commissioner of Works when the tower was being built.
The tower was completed in 1859, and the bell was first rung on July 31, 1859. The bell cracked during its first test ringing, and it took two more years to recast it. The bell has cracked several times since then, but it has always been repaired.
Big Ben is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, and its chimes are known to people all over the world. The bell rings every hour, and it also rings for special occasions, such as New Year's Eve and the Queen's (now King’s) Birthday.
Lesser-Known Facts About Big Ben
- The tower is 96 meters (315 feet) tall.
- The bell weighs 13.7 tons (12,580 kilograms).
- The bell's last crack occurred in 2017, and it is currently not in use.
- The minute hand of the Big Ben is said to weight 100 kilograms.
- Big Ben has never stopped working, and there are no records of it ever malfunctioning.
What Can One Expect To See Inside Big Ben?
- During a tour of Big Ben, visitors will see the Great Bell, the bell's mechanism, and the clock faces. They will also learn about the history of the tower and the bell.
- The Great Bell is located in the belfry, which is a small room at the top of the tower. The bell is suspended from a frame and is rung by striking it with a hammer.
- The clock faces are located on all four sides of the tower. They are made of cast iron and are each 7 meters (23 feet) in diameter.