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One of the most important buildings in the whole of the United Kingdom is the Palace of Westminster, a former royal residence and current legislative center of the British government. The mythical Palace of Westminster is not just a symbol of political power, but a cultural emblem for the entire city of London. Come and discover its secrets!
The construction of this imposing architectural work began in 1840, however, its history dates back to medieval times. At first, the area where the palace is located stood out for its proximity to the River Thames, and for its important relationship with Westminster Abbey.
There many English kings settled, and the first building to bear the name of the Palace of Westminster became the main center of power in all of England. It would not be until the year 1530 in which Henry VIII, then English king, changed the royal residence to the Palace of York.
While the monarch, his family and his court adjusted to their new home, the Palace of Westminster became a building dedicated to political meetings.
The history of the old palace ended in 1834, when a fierce fire consumed it almost completely. Next, construction began on the modern Palace of Westminster, which includes the British Houses of Parliament.
Inaugurated in 1876, the Palace of Westminster stands out for its Gothic style, its tall towers and its spacious halls. The new house of parliament was larger than the old royal residence, although the architects who designed the work tried to keep all the medieval buildings that were part of the original structure standing.
In addition to its spacious rooms, corridors, libraries and meeting chambers, the palace is famous for its beautiful gardens. These green areas, while small and can even go a bit unnoticed, are open to the public and allow visitors to feel closer to the Palace of Westminster.
Another of the most striking features of the palace is its sandy color, caused by the original stones that were used to line the exterior walls of the building.
The interior spaces of the Palace of Westminster are exquisitely decorated, and follow a traditional English style. Its two best known rooms are the House of Lords and the House of Commons, where British legislation is debated.
If you want to know London, you cannot leave out its impressive history, in addition, the Palace of Westminster is a World Heritage Site.
Please note that the Palace of Westminster is a building of great political importance, so access may be restricted, especially when Parliament is in session. However, there are guided tours and public spaces, where visitors have free access.
Similarly, the Palace of Westminster is in close proximity to other iconic London buildings, such as Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge. Others, like the internationally famous Big Ben Clock, are part of the palace’s own structure.
So if you want to leave London with a smile on your face, feeling that you saw everything you wanted to see, the Palace of Westminster is a must see.