ANIMALS

Five interesting facts you may not know about Big Ben, the symbol of London

Big Ben is the nickname for the largest bell in the St. Stephen's clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, London. Traditionally, the use of the name has also extended to the clock and the entire 96-metre high neo-Gothic style tower, whose construction began in 1834 and ended in 1858.

It is one of the symbols of London, and is to all intents and purposes one of the best known, most popular and most visited buildings in the world, not least because of its location right in the heart of the city.

The tower has returned to its former glory after years of restoration, during which it never rang its bell except on special occasions. There are many curiosities and mysteries surrounding the great clock tower, some fascinating, others truly incredible.

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Five things you may not know about London's Big Ben
Big Ben is the nickname for the largest bell in the St. Stephen's clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, London. Traditionally, the use of the name has also extended to the clock and the entire 96-metre high neo-Gothic style tower, whose construction began in 1834 and ended in 1858. It is one of the symbols of London, and is to all intents and purposes one of the best known, most popular and most visited buildings in the world, not least because of its location right in the heart of the city. The tower has returned to its former glory after years of restoration, during which it never rang its bell except on special occasions. There are many curiosities and mysteries surrounding the great clock tower, some fascinating, others truly incredible.
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The name "Big Ben" does not refer to the tower
The term 'Big Ben' refers to the largest bell inside the clock, not the tower itself. The bell weighs about 13.7 tonnes and was cast in 1858. The correct and official name of the tower is in fact 'Elizabeth Tower', named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 as part of the Diamond Jubilee of her coronation.
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The intrusion of Michael Fusan
In 1976, a man named Michael Fagan managed to climb the clock tower and enter the House of Commons through an open window. He also reached the Queen's Cabinet Room undetected. Fagan was a commoner and attempted the feat twice. He did not end up in prison, however, but spent several months in a psychiatric hospital. His alleged correspondence with Queen Elizabeth II is a source of stories and supposition.
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There is not only one bell
In addition to the main bell, known to all as Big Ben, there are four other bells inside the London Clock Tower. Each of them has a name: Great Tom, Quarter Bells, The Hour Bell and The Chimes.
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The writing that can't be seen
Of course, it cannot be seen with the naked eye, but under the hands of all four dials is written: DOMINA SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIAMAM. "O Lord, save our Queen Victoria I" to recall the glorious times of Queen Victoria for England.
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A most powerful melody
The bells of Big Ben carry the melody composed by William Crotch for the tower of Great St Mary's church at Cambridge University. The English composer was inspired by a phrase from Händel's Messiah relating to Psalm 37 Verses 23 and 24. The musical motif is played every quarter of an hour and can be heard within a radius of over 2 km.
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30/05/2024
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