English Big Ben

Big Ben is the famous and probably the main attraction of England such as translate russian to english. This is a popular place for tourists. Big Ben is often called the tower itself, which is part of the structure of the Palace of Westminster. Since 2012, this tower has been called the “Elizabeth Tower”.

Initially, “Big Ben” (Big Ben) was called only the bell (the largest of the 5 bells), which weighed about 14 tons. But the name itself extended to the clock and the tower itself.

The bell received the name Big Ben according to 2 different versions. One version says that it is named after the chief construction superintendent, Benjamin Hall; another version mentions Benjamin Count, a popular heavyweight boxer.

The tower, 96.3 meters high, was built in 1859. The first ringing of the tower clock was heard on May 31 of the same year. At the beginning of the first second of every hour, for 150 years now, a ringing has been heard from the contact of a hammer with a bell. The accuracy of the blows is monitored by the caretaker, who controls the course of the clock with the help of an English penny. Once, they wanted to fire the caretaker when the clock was 1 second late with the chime.

The clock represents the international time standard. It was they who proclaimed the beginning of the 21st century on the night of January 1, 2001.

History of Big Ben
In 1837, a significant part of the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire. Then it was decided to build new facilities. In 1844, the construction of the clock on the tower of St. Stephanie began under the direction of the mechanic Benjamin Valami. The plan was to build such a clock, the ringing of which would be heard, if not in the entire province, then in its capital. The Astronomer Royal insisted that every first stroke of the bell be accurate to the second. Accuracy had to be checked hourly by telegraph to the Greenwich Observatory. Benjamin said that such accuracy not only was not needed by anyone, but could not be carried out in open winds and bad weather. Then the Benjamin project was closed. A new watch weighing 5 tons was designed by Dent.

After that, they started casting the bell. Based on the drawings, a bell weighing 14.5 tons was cast. This bell was supposed to be called Big Ben, but Denison, who used a too heavy hammer, split the bell. I had to cast a second bell, which got all the glory.

Interesting Facts:
The dials of Big Ben look at the 4 cardinal directions. They are made of opal, the hour hands are cast iron, the minute hands are made of copper sheet.

The minute hands cover a distance of about 190 km per year.

At the bottom of each dial is the inscription “Domine Salvam fac Reginam nostram Victoriam primam” (“God save our Queen Victoria I”). And along the perimeter of the tower itself – “Laus Deo” (“Glory to God” or “Praise the Lord”)

Every 2 days the mechanism is checked and lubricated. The inaccuracy error of the clock can reach 1.5-2 seconds. This inaccuracy is removed with the help of a penny, which must be placed on a pendulum 4 meters long. It speeds up its movement by 2.5 seconds per day. By adding or removing songs, you can adjust the course of the clock.