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The House of Parliament, called officially the Palace of Westminster were built during the reign of Edward the Confessor in 1066.The Palace was the royal residence and also the country’s main court. Soon it became the seat of government and until the 16 th century it was used both as a royal residence and as a parliament house. The Parliament met here since the 16 th till the 19 th century.
The present Houses of Parliament were built after the fire in the Palace of Westminster in 1834.The modern Houses of Parliament, a symbol of London, spread magnificently on the north bank of the Thames. The British Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
At the two corners of the building there are two great towers. One of them, St. Stephen’s Tower, or the clock Tower, contains the famous Big Ben. It is the huge bell known all over the world, called so after the name of the Chief Commissioner of Works Benjamin Hall. Big Ben, the voice of London has been telling the time to the second since 1859.Thirteen and a half ton bell was mounted on the 96 m. clock faces, which each measure seven m. in diameter.