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Palace of Westminster

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Historical place
Location type: Historical place
Location address: United Kingdom, Westminster
Number of texts: 2
3 stars
Made by | Reference Diliff | © CC 3.0
Made by | Reference | © CC 3.0

The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London. Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence.

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Guarded over by “Big Ben” (the world’s most famous timepiece), the former royal Palace of Westminster shelters both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and has done so since the 11th century. Gaining admission to the debating chambers requires a long wait and a lot of red tape that the “Day 1 Visitor” will have to forego, but at least you can admire the massive architectural pile from the outside before passing on your way.

If you feel you’ve missed something, duck into the Jewel Tower across the street, one of only two surviving buildings from the medieval Palace of Westminster. Here you can see an exhibition of the history of Parliament and even use a touch-screen computer that takes you on a virtual tour of both Houses of Parliament.

Source : Frommer’s

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