вторник, 10 июля 2012 г.

The Big Ben

World-famous Big Ben clock tower located on the Houses of Parliament in London. The very same parliament building is located on the banks of the Thames near Westminster.

Palace of Westminster previously served as a refuge for kings, and now is sit on the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Inside the building more than 1,200 rooms and halls, and whole miles of corridors. But the most famous is undoubtedly part of the palace clock tower Big Ben. Fight those hours can be heard at the beginning of each hour on the radio BBC, and on the night of December 31 to January 1 was the first hit Big Ben has officially announced the beginning of the new year in the world.

Get inside the 96-meter tower is only possible by using a narrow spiral staircase. After completion of all 334 steps, you will find yourself in a small open area in the center of which is legendary, and the bell Big Ben. You will be surprised, but Big Ben is not at all hours, as many believe. It has over the years under this name are mean and hours, and the bell, and even the tower itself.

Initially, it was the bell that name, which decades later would be known around the world. Dimensions of "Big Ben" is really impressive - the height of more than 2-meters and the base diameter of almost 3 meters.

There are several versions of why the bell got its name. One theory is that Big Ben was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, who was director of operations for casting bells. In the second version, the bell-heavyweight (and weighed 13.7 tons) was named in honor of the popular at the time the boxer Benjamin Count, who spoke in the heavyweight division.

The tower itself was built back in 1858. Watches were set later and launched May 21, 1859. The height of the structure reaches the 61st meters, and given the sticks into the overcast sky spire of London, all of 96 meters. The clock mechanism is located at an altitude of 55 meters from the ground. A clock face, too, has impressive dimensions: diameter of 7 meters, the length of the large and small arrows of 2.7 and 4.2 meters respectively.

Thanks to such a significant size, the London hours were long considered the greatest of the world clock, yielding first place only recently. At each of the 4-dial was affixed Latin inscription - «Domine salvam fac Reginam nostram Victoriam Primam», which means "God save our Queen Victoria."

Five-ton clock mechanism is checked several times throughout the day. Interestingly, the accuracy of the progress is monitored by coins-penny, for what is not normal, but issued only up to 1971. Watchmakers to add or remove a coin from swinging back and forth a huge pendulum. This procedure ensures precision and Big Ben.

Big Ben, during its existence, has become a symbol of Great Britain and London. The image of the clock tower can be often found in advertising, film, books in English. Tourists get inside the famous tower is very difficult, because the tours are conducted only during September.

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