If you've been to London, you've surely visited the famous Tower that houses the Clock of the Palace of Westminster, known as Big Ben by extension of the great bell that was the first "owner" of the name. The films whose plot takes place in London, at one time or another, pass in front of Big Ben as a point of reference or "plan of establishment", to clearly place the place of action. In spite of being aware that the name belongs to the bell, when saying Big Ben we will refer to the set of the Tower, the clock and the bells, as it is popularly done. Join us to discover 25 Curiosities of Big Ben that you did not know.
In other cities of the world we also find famous watches as the astronomical clock of Prague , which is one of its curiosities, the clock of the Plaza San Marcos in Venice or the Clock of the Plaza del Sol in Madrid, but none is as known in the world as the Londoner Big Ben.
25 Curiosities of Big Ben that you did not know
1. The Big Ben tower is attached to the northwest side of the Palace of Westminster which is the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In 1858 the construction of the tower was completed and the clock began its journey on September 7, 1859. So in 2009 the clock turned 150 years!
2. The Big Ben Tower has an official name since 2012: "Elizabeth Tower" in honor of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
3. Regarding its height, the tower occupies the number 14 in the world ranking. It measures 96'3 meters.
4. The tower it is slightly inclined , but it is noticeable if you look very carefully. The approximate tilt is 1/250 (0.04 degrees).
5. One of the curiosities of Big Ben is that it is the largest four-sided clock in the world.
6. Each of the faces of the watch measures 7 meters in diameter and is composed of 312 pieces of opaque glass that form a kind of stained glass. These parts can be removed for maintenance.
7. Each of the spheres is illuminated with 28 low-energy bulbs.
8. The hand of the hours measures 2'8 meters long and that of the minutes 4'3 m.
9. The real Big Ben, as we have said, is the great bell of the clock. It is not known for sure where the name that was recorded in the bell itself came from. Possibly it took the name of the first commissioner of the works of the tower that was Sir Benjamin Hall, but it could also be due to a famous boxer of the time, champion of the heavyweights, called Ben Caunt.
10. One of the curiosities of Big Ben is that at first, the bell was destined to be called "Royal Victoria".
11. Big Ben, the bell, measures 2'2 meters high by 2'7 in diameter and weighs 13'7 tons!
12. It is made of tin and copper and is gray with green markings.
13. His arrival in London had great pomp and ceremony. First she was taken on a barge on the Thames and then to the tower in a carriage pulled by 16 white horses.
14 The first bell was broken during the tests in 1857 and had to melt a new one to replace it. The second bell cracked after a few months and was repaired replacing the cracked area, also turned a quarter of a turn and changed the hammer that hit it for a less powerful.
15. Periodically the campaign has remained silent due to the tasks of revision and repair and also for historical reasons. In 2017, some new conservation works were started and for three years it will remain silent when it is necessary to stop the mechanism of the clock.
16. Another of the curiosities of Big Ben is that he is in charge of giving the New Year bells that the BBC broadcasts. He did it for the first time in 1923.
17. Big Ben's musical note when he chimes is a Mi. The four smaller bells that accompany it sound in Sun , Fa , Mi and Si.
18. The peal of these minor bells is every quarter of an hour and that of the great bell, Big Ben, every hour. The melody they play is known as "Westminster Quarters"
19. In some occasions you will see that a strange green light shines on the clock; It's the call Ayrton Light in honor of British politician Acton Smee Ayrton. When it looks means that the Parliament is meeting after sunset. It was installed in 1885 by order of Queen Victoria so that she could know from Buckingham Palace that Parliament was working at that time.
20. Below the dial are written some words in Latin: "Domine Salvam Fac Reginam Nostram Victoriam Primam" which means "God keep our Queen Victoria I".
21. With the sound of Big Ben you can perfectly illustrate the difference between the speed of light and sound. If you stand near the base of the tower with a transistor that transmits the New Year bells, first you will hear those of the radio, which are transmitted from the top of the tower next to the clock, and a sixth of a second later , you will hear those of the bell.
22. If you visited the internal clock mechanism, you would see one of the curiosities of Big Ben . At the top of the pendulum there are a lot of pennies that are used to adjust the movement of the clock.
23. In 2008, a survey was conducted among British citizens to find out what was the most emblematic place for them in the United Kingdom and they won Big Ben!
24. The one in the Westminster Tower is not the only Big Ben in London. Near Victoria Station there is a smaller replica that is known as Little Ben and it is a metal tower 6 meters high.
25. Some of the most famous films in which the Big Ben appears are: "Peter Pan" the animated film of Disney, "Mars Attacks", "V of Vendetta", "Mary Poppins" and many more others.
Do you remember other movies where we can see Big Ben? Do you know more? curiosities of Big Ben ? If you know any more, do not hesitate to share it so we can expand this curious information about Big Ben. If you have interested this post about one of the icons of the wonderful city of London and you want to know other famous monuments we invite you to read the post: 4 secret rooms in famous monuments | Discover them!