The history of the Palace of Westminster began more than nine hundred years ago, when this building was built by order of King Edward (in 1042). If you want to visit the most ancient part of the castle, which has been preserved since those times (Westminster Hall), then you should go on an excursion from August 6 to mid-September, when the parliamentarians working in this room (and they have been sitting there for many generations, from the thirteenth century) are on vacation.
The other parts of the Palace of Westminster do not differ in such long periods of existence, because. in the 40s of the 19th century, almost the entire building was destroyed, and during the Second World War, the palace, restored in 1888, was subjected to massive bombing, which also led to the loss of many parts of the building. Of the ancient chambers, only the Tower of Jewels has survived, which wasrebuilt in the fourteenth century to house the coins and jewels of Edward III.
Many people on the planet know the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster (dedicated to St. Stephen), which is called Big Ben and is a hallmark of London and the UK as a whole. At first, a heavy bell (weighing about 16 tons) was called Big Ben, but then this tower was named after him.
Besides the bell, there is a clock with a dial diameter of about 9 meters. At the time of its creation, the watch mechanism was considered a miracle of engineering technology, because. had high accuracy (deviation of no more than one second per day in one direction or another). After the bombing of German aircraft, this value increased to two seconds, so to harmonize the movement on the pendulum of the clock (four meters long) there is a one penny coin.
The current purpose of the Palace of Westminster is to be the seat of the two Houses of Parliament. In the House of Lords, you can see many old works of famous masters who have decorated this hall for centuries. It is also interesting to know that the speaker (Lord Chancellor) does not sit in a chair, but on a sack of wool, which was once exported by England around the world. Therefore, it can be argued that this country is very careful about its traditions.
The House of Commons at the Palace of Westminster looks somewhat more modest. But here everything is also permeated with history. For example, the opposition party always sits on chairs withon the left side, between the rows of benches, lines are laid with an intermediate distance of two sword lengths (so that parliamentarians could not reach each other with cold weapons during debates in past centuries). Spectators and the press can come to the meeting of the Chamber, for which there are places on the balconies.
The Palace of Westminster, the pictures of which are presented in the article, despite its large size (about 1, 2 thousand rooms, hundreds of stairs, five kilometers of corridors and almost a dozen courtyards), looks light and elegant, thanks to special architectural solutions. This effect is achieved through vertical lines, turrets, large windows, which allows the building to decorate the Thames embankment for many centuries and attract many tourists every year.