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Westminster Palace


Westminster Palace


At the heart of political power in England is the Palace Westminster. Built in Neo-Gothic style, it lies beside the Thames near Westminster Bridge and makes an impressive sight, especially with distinctive Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben).

For over 500 years the Palace of Westminster has been the seat of the two Houses of Parliament, called the Lords and the Commons. The Commons is made up of elected Members of Parliament (MPs) of different political parties; the party- or coalition of parties-with the most MPs forms the Government, and its leader becomes Prime Minister. MPs from other parties make up the Opposition.

  • The House of Parliament/Westminster Palace is designed by Sir Charles Barry.
  • The vast bell named Big Ben was hung in the Elizabeth Tower in 1858 and chimes on the hour.
  • In 1042 work starts on first palace for Edward the Confessor.
  • In 1605 Guy Fawkes and others try to blow up the king and the house of Parliaments.
  • In 1941 Chamber of House of Commons was destroyed by World War II bomb.
  • Westminster Hall is one of the surviving parts of the original Palace of Westminster, dating from 1097.
  • The Commons Chamber- green leather benches.
  • the Lord of Chamber is upholstered in red. 

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At a glance

  • Activity

    Culture, Sightseeing
  • Address

    London SW1, Westminster
  • Underground

    Westminster, Victoria

"The heart of political power in England for over 500 years"

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