Big Ben Clock Tower in London

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The Clock Tower or Big Ben

 

Considered as one of the most popular landmark in the United Kingdom, The Big Ben is the largest

four-faced chiming clock and the third largest free-standing clock tower in the world (after Old City Hall

in Toronto, Canada and Joseph Chamberlain Clock Tower in Birmingham, UK). The 96.3-meter high clock tower, located at the north-eastern end of the Palace of Westminster in London was a design

whiz by Charles Barry and Gothic-deisgner Augustus Pugin. Big Ben's structure is composed of brickwork and sand colored Anston limestone cladding. It was completed in 1859 and will celebrate

its 150th anniversary in 2009.

One famous idiomatic expression, "putting a penny on," which means to slow down, traces its history to the method of fine-tuning the clock's pendulum using a small stack of penny coins to adjust the time of the clock. In addition, the name Big Ben was only applied to the Great Bell before it became a collective term to refer the clock, tower and bell.

Certainly, Big Ben has become an important iconic symbol not only to London but the entire UK. Radio and TV stations also tune in to the chimes to signal the start of a New Year and to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month on Remembrance Day and it has been featured in numerous films.

Another famous building that used in many movies is the Sphinx at Luxor in Las Vegas.