Parliament in London

Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of Parliament in London, England
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Looking towards the High Alter

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Parliament
Official name:The Palace of Westminster
Also known as:The Houses of Parliament

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This building is another one of the great English landmarks that have become famous under a name other than its own. Most people recognize the building it as the seat of English government, but don't realize that it's proper name is The Palace of Westminster. The first palace on this site was put up sometime after 1016 by Canute the Great, the Danish king of England, Denmark, and Norway. It was razed when Edward the Confessor moved the royal court out of London and to this place in the 11th century. But in spite of its palatial title, no royal family has lived here since 1512 when fire forced Henry VIII to move to Whitehall. The Gothic Revival building you see today was built after fire destroyed the palace in 1834. If you go, the best place to take a picture of the outside is from across the river. On the inside, there isn't a lot to do. Both the House of Lords and the House of Commons have visitor's galleries where you can watch the proceedings. To get there, you must pass through hallways covered with amazing frescoes commissioned by Prince Albert. You'll have to wait in line, but at least it's one of the few things in the world that a simple commoner can do that the Queen can't. No monarch has been allowed in since 1642 when the King tried to have some Members of Parliament arrested. Westminister Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Quick Facts
Timeline
  • November 5, 1605: Guy Fawkes plan to blow up Parliament is foiled.
Notes
  • Over the years there has been historical debate over who designed the Houses of Parliament and the clock tower commonly known as Big Ben. Charles Barry began the design, but then hired Augustus Pugin to complete it. Pugin, himself, has been quoted as giving Barry the credit for the better half of the work.
Rate This Government Building
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Your Thoughts

There are three comments.

  englands coolest building, much better than the modern ones.

farrell - Thursday, April 7th, 2011 @ 10:05am  

  one of THE buildings of London and the most iconic building in all of Britain.

tom - Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 @ 5:48pm  

  Wonderful building with history to match. Always different whenever you view, day - night - sunrise etc. don't miss.

Mal Walker - Sunday, March 13th, 2005 @ 2:18am  

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