Palace Of Westminster – The Meeting Place Between The Two Houses
The home of the UK Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is as intriguing as it is breathtaking. This extraordinary building is the meeting place between the two houses of the Parliament – the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Palace Of Westminster
Thought the original building dates from the Middle Ages, the palace that we see today was finished in 1870 after it was demolished during a fire 36 years earlier. This gorgeous palace was built in a Victorian neo-Gothic style to match the nearby Westminster Abbey.
The very first royal palace was built on these grounds during the 11th century and it was the primary royal residence until it was destroyed by a large fire in 1512. After that, the building served only as of the home of the English Parliament. However, when a second fire destroyed most of the palace, Westminster was once again rebuilt. The new palace has over 1,000 rooms, interior gardens, 100 staircases and 3 miles of passageways.
The most well-known part of this building is a bell tower, named after Queen Elizabeth but commonly known as the Big Ben. Though the Elizabeth Tower can only be visited by permanent residents of the United Kingdom.
The Palace of Westminster has two main areas – the House of Commons and the House of the Lords. The House of Commons is located in the northern part of the building and it can be easily recognized by the green leather upholstery which decorates almost the entire area. On the other hand, the House of Lords is located in the southern part of the palace and it is decorated with red leather upholstery.
Most parts of Westminster are opened to the public, even when the houses are in session. During those times, visitors can sit in the Strangers’ Gallery and watch the lively debates. Google
However, the most impressive part of the palace is the Westminster Hall. This is the oldest part of the building, dating back to 1097. When it was built it was the largest one in Europe. The 250 feet long hall was the scene for many important events throughout history, including the trial of Sir Thomas More and King Charles I. In 1653, Cromwell was installed as Lord Protector in this hall.
The Queen’s Robing Room is another interesting part of the palace. This is the place where the monarch prepares for the State Opening of Parliaments and it features a richly decorated throne. The room’s walls and ceiling are covered in frescoes featuring the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Right next to the Robing Room, there’s one of the largest rooms in the palace, the Royal Gallery. Most royal processions and important diplomatic events take place inside this opulently decorated room. The heart of the Westminster lays in the Central Lobby also known as the Octagon Hall thanks to its shape. Located under the Central Tower, this is the intersection between the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the public entrance, the libraries, the Lower Waiting Hall and St. Stephen’s Hall. Those who stand right underneath the great chandelier in this hall can see both the Speaker’s Chair and the Royal Thorne.