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Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) *

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Also known as the Houses of Parliament, this mostly 1850s gothic-style beauty by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin is home to Britain's bicameral government — the House of Commons and the House of Lords — but is perhaps of more interest to the casual tourist as the symbol of London seen repeatedly in films and on postcards, particularly its Clock Tower which houses the bell Big Ben. The Tower is often first glimpsed while standing outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Sq. The imposing but elegant riverside Palace, which sits within a stone's throw of Westminster Abbey and Whitehall, also features Westminster Hall — a vast and spectacular late-11th-century wonder that is the oldest part of the Palace. Its Gothic hammerbeam timber roof alone qualifies the Hall as one of London's most awe-inspiring spaces. If you're catching a cab eastbound from Vauxhall late on a club night try to keep your eyes open long enough to catch sight of the darkened Palace against the London sky. Consider the Old Westminster tour given by London Walks [see entry].

Tags: Architecture, Heritage Site, Cultural Interest

Added by: BBUC BBUC

St Margaret's, 20 Dean's Yard
London, England SW1A 0AA

(207) 219-3000


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