The most famous bell in the world honours its inventor, Sir Benjamin Hall, and counts the hours for the British.

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Big Ben

A symbol of London par excellence.

The Elizabeth Tower, widely known as Big Ben, is one of the most characteristic icons of the City of London. After the previous parliament accidentally caught fire in 1834, it took sixteen years to build the new parliament building which stands today. The Elizabeth Tower is located at the Palace of Westminster, mother of all parliaments in the United Kingdom and situated by the shore of the River Thames. This tower has four clocks with a huge and complex mechanism which have been an example of the popular English precision and punctuality since they began to operate in 1859. It was witness to the Second World War, when two of the clocks were damaged by German bombing and were then subsequently restored. During the war, the bells were also kept silent and the tower was not lit up at night, in order to avoid further attacks. In 2012, the tower’s previous name, “The Clock Tower” was changed to its present name in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. Unknown to many people, the name “Big Ben” was actually given to the hour bell placed inside the clock tower, to possibly honour the man behind its construction - Sir Benjamin Hall.

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