Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of 13.5 tons installed in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, which is the seat of the British Parliament in London.
Only people who live in the UK can visit Big Ben, after obtaining a autorisation .
The building faces the River Thames between Westminster Bridge
and Westminster Abbey .
A fire devastated a part of the Parliament building in 1835. Following this event , a commission was set up to choose the new style of the building. The plan that wins the competition is that of Charles Barry , which provides , among others, include a tower to the building.
The first bell is made in 1856. To be able to carry up to the clock tower , it is installed on a carriage pulled by 16 horses . It splits a few months after installation, a second bell is then molded to the Whitechapel foundry April 10, 1858 . In October of the same year , the bell is moved 61 meters to the belfry tower in 18 hours . 31 May 1859 , the famous clock comes into service. Each year , it is set by placing a piece of a penny on the mechanism that the command if it gets ahead , or removing one if it delays .
The sound of the bell ” Big Ben” is because it was cracked in 1859 , barely two months after its official inauguration , which gives it this very distinctive tone . For technical reasons , the bell is oriented so that the hammer does not strike at the location of the crack.