Big Ben

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Big Ben

Big Ben is a clock-tower located in England's capital city London. The tower is a rectangular shape and identical in appearance on each of its four sides, except that it is connected on one side to the Westminster Houses of Parliament building. The tower is much taller than it is in width. The main body of the tower which rises up to the clock-face is made from stone. The stonework is a light yellowy brown colour and is divided into five sections with horizontal bands. Within these sections are narrow archtop windows, accentuated with decorative stonework.

At the top section, covering around one sixth of the total height of the tower, is the clock face. The clock face is round and white in colour, with internal lighting which make it glow so that it can be read at night. If examined closely, it is possible to see that the clock face is made from hundreds of glass panels. Layered on top of the glass is a central gilded design which could be likened to a many petalled flower. Encircling this part of the dial are the Roman numerals which denote the hour. Another section of decorative metalwork encircles this section. The hour hand of the clock has a decorative shape to the non-indicative point, while the minute hand has a rounded arrow shape to the indicative point. The clock-face is set inside a square frame, with the spaces in each corner filled with the image of a lion or a unicorn, in the style of the English coat of arms. Underneath the dial is a Latin inscription which reads “DOMINE SALVAM FAC REGINAM NOSTRAM VICTORIAM PRIMAM”.

Above the clock-face is the belfry. The bell which chimes the hours is concealed inside. When viewed from outside, we see that this section is made from sturdy columns which create small arches to support the spire above. The spire is in two sections, both made from grey slate. The first section slopes inwards, becoming narrower towards the top, and has two rows of archtop windows trimmed in gold. There are four windows on the first row and three on the second. This forms the base for a smaller square section above which is made from stone and has small narrow archtop windows. The spire rises from here in a triangle shape, forming a four sided pyramid when we think about all the sides. It is very narrow and ends in a point. At the very top is a finial decorated with a crown, flowers and a cross.

Related links

Big Ben - Wikipedia Big Ben - Official page