The palace of Westminster
The destruction of the original Palace of Westminster by fire in 1834 sparked the most furious architectural argument of the 19th century: should the new building be Gothic or Greek? The answer turned out to be both: a building Classical in its planning. Gothic in its detail. The Palace of Westminster is a magnificent hybrid, a turning point in the history of English architecture.
The Palace stands on the north bank of the River Thames. linked to the much older Westminster Hall. The long, riverside facade is dominated by towers.The highest is the
Victoria Tower, at 102m. The octagonal Central Tower, above the central lobby, is topped by a spire. The Clock Tower at the northern end, has four huge clock faces and houses five great bells that chime every quarter-hour. Big Ben, the bell that chimes on the hour, has become a symbol for London itself. Internally, the Palace is a complex of passageways and more than 1,000 rooms over four floors.