Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower as well. The tower is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012; previously, it was known simply as the Clock Tower. When completed in 1859, it was, says clockmaker Ian Westworth, “the prince of timekeepers: the biggest, most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.” The tower had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place.
A British cultural icon, the tower is one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and is often in the establishing shot of films set in London.
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- Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, UK
- Height: 96 m
- Opened: 1859
- Architectural style: Gothic Revival architecture
- Phone: +44 20 7219 4272
- Architects: Augustus Pugin, Charles Barry
London borough: City of Westminster
- Go to website
- Michael Wiggin: What a sight to see! I’ve spent most of my adulthood seeing Big Ben on TV and in the movies, but it was 100x more interesting in real life! So much detail on the clock tower! It stands out from many places in Westminster, including The Eye! Great landmark to visit while in London!
- A KF: Obviously this is a must-see in London. As far as I know, you cannot go inside unless you are a British citizen and schedule a tour (if they even do that anymore). But still – a wonderful spot for photography. Be prepared for crowds of people unless you go at an obscure time (either very early or later in the evening).