The Houses of Parliament, located in London, are a grand and significant symbol of democracy. The Houses of Parliament served as the seat of government for the United Kingdom and is a must-see tourist destination when visiting England’s capital. Visitors to the Houses of Parliament are awe-struck by its beautiful architecture, compelling history, and remarkable stories. This article provides interesting facts and helpful information for travelers looking to explore the Houses of Parliament in London. Discover the inspiring history behind its iconic Big Ben, what services are offered for a guided tour or an educational visit, as well as the area’s fascinating architecture.
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1. The Elizabeth Tower, home of the world-famous Big Ben, is part of the Houses of Parliament.
2. The Palace of Westminster has its own symphony orchestra, which performs regular concerts.
3. A crypt beneath the Houses of Parliament contains the tombs of five monarchs, including Alfred the Great.
4. The House of Commons was bombed during World War II but soon after, it was completely restored.
5. There is a small chapel inside the Houses of Parliament, known as St. Mary’s Undercroft, which was founded in 1297. It still holds religious services today.
6. There is a small stream, called the River Tyburn, running beneath the Houses of Parliament.
7. The Houses of Parliament are home to over 400 statues and sculptures, many of which depict kings, queens, and politicians.
8. A secret room behind the Speaker’s Chair contains rare books, artwork, and state papers.
9. The terrier dog, which was held by Queen Victoria, is buried in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster.
10. It is believed that a secret tunnel beneath the Palace of Westminster connected it to the royal residence, Buckingham Palace.
The Houses of Parliament, officially known as the Palace of Westminster, is the meeting place of the two Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The building is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is among London’s most iconic landmarks.
The Palace of Westminster is the oldest royal palace in continuous use in Europe; it has been the meeting place of both Houses of Parliament since the early 14th century. It is located on the north bank of the River Thames in London.
The present building stands largely as a result of the work carried out in the mid-19th century by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. It was extensively refurbished in the 1950s and underwent major structural changes in the 1990s following the IRA bombing of Central Lobby in 1991.
Today, the Palace of Westminster contains 1,100 rooms, 100 staircases and a host of historic features including the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, the Elizabeth Tower (which houses Big Ben) and an impressive collection of artworks, from fine oil paintings to stained glass windows. It is also the home to a great oratory tradition, from the Prime Minister’s Questions to important debates, conventions and meetings of both Houses.
The Palace of Westminster was the site of many significant events in British history. Many of the royal coronations were held here, including the coronation of King Alfred in 871, Queen Elizabeth I in 1558 and King George III in 1761. It also hosted the first meeting of the House of Commons in its modern form in 1295, the passage of the Great Reform Act of 1832, Winston Churchill’s ‘finest hour’ speech in 1940 and the first reading of the Human Rights Act in 1998.
1. Location: The Houses of Parliament are located in the heart of London, along the banks of the River Thames.
2. Time: The Houses of Parliament are open to visitors Monday through Saturday. On weekdays, tours are available from 9.30am – 4.30pm, and on Saturdays from 9.30am – 2.00pm.
3. Tickets: Advance tickets are required to gain entry to the Houses of Parliament. Visitors must also obtain a free pass from the local police station.
4. Tour Options: The Houses of Parliament offer self-guided audio tours and “Experience Tours” that are led by knowledgeable guides.
5. Rules: All visitors must pass through airport-style security on entry, and are asked to leave large bags at home. Mobile phones must be switched off, and no food or drink is permitted inside the building.
6. Facilities: There is a café and gift shop located inside.
7. Contact Information: For further information, please contact the Houses of Parliament Visitors Service on +44 844 847 1672.
Q: What is the Houses of Parliament in London?
A: The Houses of Parliament in London, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It is located on the north bank of the River Thames in Westminster in central London.
Q: Who designed the Houses of Parliament?
A: The Houses of Parliament were designed by the architect Charles Barry in 1838. It was built in Gothic Revival style and is decorated with reliefs depicting historical scenes.
Q: When is the Houses of Parliament open?
A: The Houses of Parliament is open to tours on Saturdays for visitors wanting to explore the iconic building. Tickets must be booked in advance and the tour is expected to last around 90 minutes.
Q: What is the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Houses of Parliament?
A: The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a daily ritual that takes place outside the central entrance to the Houses of Parliament. The ceremony involves the sentries at the entrance exchange salutes and duties. This historic ceremony usually takes place at 11:30am everyday.
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