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Big Ben

  - 2 opinions

You must not miss it

Published by Xavi Vengohechea — 8 years ago

If you ever go to London you have to go to see the Big Ben! Don't miss it! The famous cock from Peter Pan is one of the top atractions in the capital of the UK. It has appeared on several movies and sitcoms and there are thousands of people visiting it daily! If you want to have a better experience, you'd better go early in the morning or late in the afternoon in order to avoid the hips of tourists hanging around there.

Big Ben

This famous tower can be found in the city of London and is one of the world's main tourist attractions. The typical image of the well-known clock is a symbol of the country, and for me personally it's the first image that appears in my head when I hear the word "London".

One thing needs to be made clear, however, and that is that the name "Big Ben" refers only (as is the case in the Spanish translation) to the bell of the tower, though many people use it to refer to the whole tower as well as the clock.

Big Ben

The most famous of its correct names is "The Clock Tower, " although it has a number of other less well-known names. It is situated in the Houses of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster, and in its Gothic style and with its enormous clock it adorns the part of the Palace of Westminster closest to the bridge of the same name.

The reason for its construction is interesting, as it was built as a result of the famous fire which took place in London almost 200 years ago and which destroyed the old Palace of Westminster in spectacular fashion. Those who like art and painting will know of J. M. W. Turner's portrayal of the terrible incident in his watercolour "The Burning of the Houses of Parliament. " After this catastrophe, the new Palace and its tower was constructed.

On a personal level, I was surprised to find that there is a clock on every side of the tower, as I had previously thought that only the side facing the Thames, which is the typical image familiar to us all, displayed a clock face.

Big Ben

The clock has a large diameter, as well as large hands. Although originally several problems were encountered when trying to make all of the clocks work correctly, as well as the bell, today the clock is known around the world for its accuracy (the English are very serious when it comes to these things, and punctuality is an essential part of English society), despite it having faced many kinds of obstacles over the years.

The famous inscription at the base of each clock face is very interesting. In golden lettering, it reads: "Domine salvam fac Reginam Nostram Victoriam Primam, " which translates as "O Lord, save our Queen Victoria the First. " Although at first glance it's quite difficult to read it, if you know it's there you can just about see it when you stand at the right distance.

It definitely seemed like a must-visit to me, as it would to any tourist in London. Although you can see the tower from places such as the London Eye, don't settle for a far-off view - it's much better to go closer to the base and take a photo from Westminster Bridge with the tower in the background.

Big Ben

If you want to visit the Palace of Westminster and the Big Ben you'll have to check in advance because opening times change depending on the day, and it's closed on public holidays. It's usually open from around nine o'clock in the morning until around five in the afternoon, but that's just a rough guide. However, the outside can be seen at all times.

Regarding when it's best to visit, I'd recommend you go both in daylight and at night. During the day, you can appreciate the detail and the colouration of the Palace of Westminster and the tower, and during the night London's best-known monuments are illuminated and it's a wonder to behold, so both options are completely different. In fact, I think London is one of the cities where the difference between daylight and nighttime visits is greatest. At night, it's like a fairy-tale, and you've also got the magnificent views of the London Eye which, being a Ferris wheel, is even more magical and romantic.

Big Ben

When I went (5 years ago) you didn't have to pay, but I didn't go up because we were a little tight for time so we decided to go on the London Eye instead. However, in 2012 or thereabouts the rules were changed and it went from being free to costing over £15! I believe they changed it around the same time as the Olympic Games took place in London, but to me it seems quite a ridiculous change.

Adult prices are around £17 but there are other rates for students and children, as well as for larger groups.

It's really easy to get to the tower, as you can just ask for Westminster Palace or the London Eye and from there you'll be able to see it. If you want to take the underground, you can take one of the lines which go towards Westminster: the Circle, District, and Jubilee lines.

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