|Email This Link|
The assembly place of the two houses of Parliament in the UK – the House of Commons and the House of Lords - the Palace of Westminster is an iconic structure which represents the oldest democracy of the world.
|Name||Palace of Westminster/ House of Parliament|
|Nearest Airport||London Heliport at Battersea, Heathrow International Airport|
|Distance from |
the nearest airport
|London Heliport – 0 miles,|
Heathrow Airport- 14.28 miles
|Best Time to Visit||From 28th July to 27th Sep, during the summer break when the parliament is not in session.|
One of the most visited places in the capital city of UK, the Palace of Westminster has been builtnext to the River Thames in the City of Westminster in central London. Its central location in the city makes the palace or house of parliament a prominent landmark. Once in London, you can take a bus, taxi, private car, or even the tube to reach the Westminster Palace; there is a tube station in Westminster. If you intend to take the mainline train, the nearest station is London Waterloo; the palace is a 15 minute walk from the station. By boat, also, one can reach the Westminster Millennium Pier; the palace is at a walking distance from the pier. The best time to visit the House of Parliament is during the summer recess when the Parliament is not in session. At this time you may take a complete tour of the building. Passes are required to enter when the parliament is in session.
The site of Palace of Westminster has been of great importance since the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, in a massive fire in 1834, the 700 year old historic palace was destroyed and the present structure of the House of Parliament was rebuilt between 1840 & 1870. Architect Sir Charles Barry designed the new palace in Gothic style; he included parts of the old structure, the Westminster Hall and the St. Stephens Chapel which survived the fire. During the Second World War, parts of the palace were severely damaged due to bombing and had to be rebuilt.
Architecture & Layout
The Palace of Westminster has a classical Perpendicular Gothic design. The palace has three main towers. The Victoria Tower which is the tallest tower of the palace is named after Queen Victoria. This tower is approximately 321 feet tall. The entrance of this tower is arched and the interiors have detailed carvings. The tower is home tolife- size statues of Queen Victoria, the patron saints of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England along with the figures of Jesus and Mary. The other two prominent towers of the palace are Central Tower and the Clock Tower. Central Tower has an octagonal Gothic vaul.The Clock Tower, also popularly known as Big Ben has a big four faced clock designed by Augustus Pugin. Sand color limestone has been used for the stonework of the palace. Apart from the towers, the palace also encompasses the Westminster Hall, St. Stephens Chapel, and smaller gardens surrounding the Palace. There are about eleven hundred rooms in the palace and hundreds of staircases. Norman Porch, Prince Chamber, Queen’s Robing Room, Lord’s Chamber, Royal Gallery, Library, state apartment for the members of parliament and many more sections are part of the Palace. The palace has separate entrance for the royal family and for the members of parliament. At the base of Victoria Tower in the south west corner of the palace is the royal entrance gate, and in the south of the new palace yard is the entrance gate for the members of the parliament. Besides, the palace also includes the chambers of Lords and Commons.
The Palace of Westminster has many attractions for its visitors. Some of the major attractions, which are open to the public, are:
- Big Ben: The clock tower one of the famous landmarks of London also has the largest clock in Great Britain. This Clock shows accurate time and has rarely failed since its installation.
- Westminster Hall: The oldest building of the present palace, this hall has survived several unfortunate incidents like the great fire of 1834, and bombing during the Second World War. By visiting the hall people get to relive the history of the palace, this hall along with the chamber of commons and lords is open for public tours.
- House of Commons and Lords: Both the chambers are open to public to attend debates when the parliament is in session. Public can attend the debates from the public galleries, which are open from Monday to Thursday and occasionally on Fridays, when the houses are in session. Prior admission passes are required to enter the parliament. Besides these, the smaller gardens such as the Victoria garden which surrounds the palace, are also open to the public and are visited by tourists.
Disclaimer : All efforts have been made to make this image accurate. However Compare Infobase Limited,its directors and employees do not own any responsibility for the correctness or authenticity of the same.