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Houses of Parliament


From the center of Westminster Bridge one can have a splendid view of the H. of P. The structure is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture. Royal Palaces and houses were built along the banks of the Thames in medie’val days, because the water was a busy way into and out of London. The H.P. called officially the Palace of Westmister were a palace for queens and kings. The palace was used both as a royal residence and also as a parliament house until the 16th century. In 1834 the H.P. were destroyed by the fire.

Sir Charles Barry was asked to plan the building and August Pugin was commissioned to make it look gothic. The result is the Palace of Westminster. The odd combination of these two men produced a triumph. The H.P. is the biggest Gothic palace in the world, and by far the most impressive. During the Second World War a bomb destroyed the House of Commons – the principal chamber in the whole complex It was decided to rebuild it exactly the same size.

The H.P. contain the universal symbol of L., Big Ben. B.B. is actually the name of the biggest bell inside the Clock Tower which forms part of the H.P.

The Palace of Westminster has two miles of corridors and more than 1000 rooms. When Parliament is sitting a flag flies from the Victoria Tower. The House of Lords looks more splendid with its beautiful red benches than the House of Commons. There is the throne for the Queen and the woolsack for the Lord Chancellor there. Visitors can watch the Parliament at work from the Strangers’ Gallery. The Speaker sits on the green chair.

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