Big Ben

3 min read

When one thinks of London, several iconic landmarks may come to mind. Yet, few are as synonymous with the city as Big Ben. But why is Big Ben famous? Is it merely a clock tower, or is there more to its tale?

A Brief Overview of Big Ben

Big Ben is not the name of the entire clock tower. Instead, it’s the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. Over the years, the name has colloquially been used to refer to both the clock and the clock tower. The tower itself was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to honor Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Official Link: Parliament UK – Big Ben

Historical Significance: Why is Big Ben Famous?

The tower, completed in 1859, has stood tall during many significant events in British history. Its resilient nature—surviving both World Wars—has made it a symbol of hope and endurance for the British people.

The chimes of Big Ben are known globally, with their sound being broadcasted by the BBC since New Year’s Eve in 1923. This tradition has made it a symbol recognized worldwide.

The Architectural Marvel

Beyond its historical implications, Big Ben’s neo-gothic design is an architectural marvel. Sir Charles Barry was the chief architect of the tower. Augustus Pugin, who is believed to have designed the clock face, played a significant role as well. Their combined efforts led to a tower that has been an inspiration for numerous structures around the world.

Big Ben in Modern Times

Today, the chimes of Big Ben have gone silent more than once for maintenance and repair, but the symbol it represents remains steadfast. As London evolves and modernizes, Big Ben serves as a timeless reminder of the city’s rich history.

Follow Big Ben on its Official Twitter: @big_ben_clock

FAQs: Unveiling the Mysteries of Big Ben

  1. Why is Big Ben called Big Ben?
    • The name “Big Ben” is believed to be named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell.
  2. Can you tour inside Big Ben?
    • Yes, UK residents can arrange a tour through their local MP. However, international visitors can only tour the Houses of Parliament.
  3. How many steps are there in Big Ben?
    • There are 334 limestone steps to reach the belfry and 399 to reach the lantern (Ayrton Light).
  4. When was Big Ben last renovated?
    • Major renovation work began in 2017 and was expected to last for four years, though some work might extend beyond that.
  5. Does Big Ben chime every hour?
    • Yes, Big Ben chimes every hour and has four quarter bells that chime every 15 minutes.

In Conclusion

Understanding why Big Ben is famous entails appreciating its deep-rooted history, iconic chimes, and the architectural genius behind its structure. As the city of London continues to evolve, Big Ben will forever remain a cherished emblem of the UK’s illustrious past.

Note: Always ensure to cross-check and verify details before publication. The links provided are authentic as of the last update in 2021.

Richard S is the visionary mind behind [], a dynamic platform that celebrates the extraordinary in every corner of the globe. With a passion for discovery and a keen eye for the remarkable, [Richard S] has created a unique space where the world's most famous landmarks, personalities, artworks, inventions, and more come to life.

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