Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower which holds the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world and is the third-tallest free-standing clock tower. The clock tower was completed in 1858 and has become one of the most most iconic landmarks of both London and England, often in the establishing shot of films set in the city. The clock’s movement is famous for its reliability.
Big Ben was designed by Augustus Pugin in celebrated Gothic Revival style and is 316 feet (96,3 m) high which holds a massive bell inside weighting more than 13 tons.
The origin of the nickname Big Ben is the subject of some debate. The nickname was applied first to the Great Bell; it may have been named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the installation of the Great Bell, or after boxing’s English Heavyweight Champion Benjamin Caunt. Now Big Ben is often used, by extension, to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively.
Despite being one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, the interior of the tower is not open to overseas visitors, though United Kingdom residents are able to arrange tours (well in advance) through their Member of Parliament (MP). However, the tower has no lift, so those escorted must climb the 334 limestone stairs to the top.
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