The history of the Palace of Westminster began more than nine hundred years ago, when by the order of King Edward (in 1042) this structure was built. If you want to visit the oldest part of the castle that has been preserved since that time (Westminster Hall), then on a tour it is necessary to go from August 6 to mid-September, when the parliamentarians working in this room (and they have been sitting there for many generations, from the thirteenth Century) are on vacation.
The remaining parts of the Palace of Westminster do not differ by such long terms of life, tk. In the 40s of the 19th century, almost the entire structure was destroyed, and during the Second World War, the palace, restored in 1888, was subjected to massive bombing, which also led to the loss of many parts of the building. From the ancient chambers, only the Tower of Jewels survived, which was rebuilt in the fourteenth century for the storage of coins and jewels of Edward the Third.
Many people on the planet know the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster (dedicated to St. Stephen), which is called Big Ben and is a visiting card of London and the UK as a whole. At first Big Ben was called a heavy bell (weighing about 16 tons), but then his name began to be called this tower.
In addition to the bell, there are watches with a dial diameter of about 9 meters. At the time of its creation, the clock mechanism was considered a miracle of engineering technique, because Had a high accuracy of the course (deviation not more than one second per day in one direction or another). After the bombing of German aviation, this value increased to two seconds, so to harmonize the stroke on the pendulum clock (length of four meters) is a penny coin.
The modern purpose of the Palace of Westminster is to be the seat of the two houses of Parliament. In the House of Lords, you can see a lot of ancient works of famous masters who have adorned this hall for centuries. It is also interesting to know that the speaker (the Lord Chancellor) is not sitting in an armchair, but on a bag of wool, which was once exported by England all over the world. Therefore, it can be argued that this country is very careful about its traditions.
The House of Commons of Westminster Palace looks a little more modest. But here everything is also permeated with history. For example, the opposition party always sits on the chairs on the left side, between the rows of benches lines are laid with an intermediate distance of two sword lengths (so that parliamentarians can not reach each other with cold weapons during the debates of past centuries). At the meeting of the Chamber can come the audience and the press, for which there are places on the balconies.
The Westminster Palace, pictures of which are presented in the article, despite its large dimensions (about 1.2 thousand rooms, hundreds of stairs, five kilometers of corridors and almost a dozen inner courtyards), looks easy and elegant, thanks to special architectural solutions. This effect is achieved through vertical lines, towers, large windows, which allows the building for many centuries to decorate the embankment of the Thames and attract many tourists annually.