The iconic clock of London
As one of London's most famous monuments, it may come as a surprise to note that Big Ben's real name is not actually Big Ben. Officially the historic clock tower is known as the Elizabeth Tower (after Queen Elizabeth II), while the great bell inside the clock is known as Big Ben. Whatever the name (potato/potarto), snapping a photo of the clock tower is a must-do when in London.
Dating back to 1858, Big Ben remains the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is also still the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. In addition to the great bell, the tower also has four quarter bells which play a 20 chime sequence every 15 minutes. Further to its size, Big Ben is also admired for its accuracy. Even when it was bombed by Germans in 1941 and suffered damage to its dials, the clock still ran and chimed accurately.
Big Ben is not only an icon of history but London popular culture too. Often used to signify the city, the clock tower has featured in numerous movies such as Shanghai Knights, V for Vendetta and Peter Pan, making it one of the most iconic film locations in London.
Tours of Big Ben take place on weekdays and involve climbing 334 stone spiral steps to the top. Once there you can admire the magnificent view of the city and River Thames as well as learn about how the clock works in the mechanism room.
Address:Bridge Street, Parliament Square, London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom
Tube station: Westminster
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