Houses of Parliament


Houses of Parliament with  Elizabeth Tower ('Big Ben')

This evening, I am posting information and images on the U.K. Houses of Parliament (aka Palace of Westminster.)

This building serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It sits on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, London, England.

The Westminster element of the name derives from nearby Westminster Abbey. The palace is owned by the Crown.

The first royal palace constructed on the site dated from the 11th century, and Westminster became the primary residence of the English monarchy until fire destroyed the royal apartments in 1512. The remainder of Westminster continued to serve as the home of the Parliament of England which had met there since the 13th century. In 1834 an even greater fire ravaged the heavily rebuilt Houses of Parliament.

In the subsequent competition for the reconstruction of the Palace, the architect Charles Barry won with a design for a new  building in the Gothic Revival style. Barry was assisted by Augustus Pugin.The remains of the Old Palace (except the detached Jewel Tower) were incorporated into its much larger replacement, which contains over 1,100 rooms. 

Construction started in 1840 and lasted for 30 years, suffering great delays and cost overruns, as well as the death of both leading architects. Works for the interior decoration continued intermittently well into the 20th century. Major conservation work has taken place since then to reverse the effects of London's air pollution and extensive repairs followed the Second World War, including the simplified reconstruction of the Commons Chamber following its bombing in 1941.

The Palace is one of the centres of political life in the U.K. "Westminster" has become a metonym for the UK Parliament The Elizabeth Tower, in particular, often referred to by the name of its main bell, Big Ben, has become an iconic landmark of London and of the United Kingdom in general,

Aspect of Houses of Parliament


Elizabeth Tower (aka 'Big Ben')

The Palace of Westminster has been part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.


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