A London Eye
The British Airways London Eye
The BA London Eye is a major feature of London's skyline. It is the world's highest observation wheel and offers passengers spectacular views of over 55 of London's most famous landmarks - all in just 30 minutes. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York the Empire State Building, and now London has the British Airways London Eye - an extraordinary symbol for an extraordinary city. You can get the best of London if you combine your flight on the Eye with a 40 minute circular cruise on the Thames. Departing from the London Eye pier the commentary takes you from the Houses of Parliament to the Tower of London and back to the London Eye.
A Parlament, és a Big Ben
The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster)
Officially this neo-gothic building is called the Palace of Westminster, but is better known throughout the world as the Houses of Parliament. The building that you see on the bank of the Thames actually only dates from the 1840's - as most of the first Houses of Parliament burnt down in 1834. But the history of the original site dates back much further. Edward the Confessor built the Palace of Westminster on the site in 1049 and the first Parliament was held there in 1275. Westminster then became the permanent home of Parliament after Henry VIII (1491 - 1547) chose to live in Whitehall in 1532.
Today the British Government is made up of the Monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons, both houses meet at the Houses of Parliament. The Houses of Parliament divide principally into two debating Chambers. The House of Commons comprises Members of Parliament (MP's) who are the elected representatives of the British people. Their functions are legislation and (as opposition) government scrutiny. The non-elected House of Lords is an apolitical body of the great and good, who examine proposed legislation from the House of Commons and also act as the highest Appeal Court in the Land.
Possibly the most famous clock face in the world. The building is officially known as St Stephen's Tower, but it is more commonly referred to as Big Ben. "Big Ben" is actually the name of the largest bell inside the clock tower, which forms part of the Houses of Parliament. It is thought that the name comes from Sir Benjamin Hall who was commissioner of works when the bell was first installed in 1858. The accuracy of the clock movement is controlled by the placing of old pennies in the mechanism.
A flag by day and a light by night above the tower of Big Ben are the signals that the politicians are present in their debating chambers.
A Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most famous fortified buildings in the world. Its history begun in 1078 by William the Conqueror. The Tower has been a palace, prison, treasury, arsenal and even a zoo! Today the Tower houses the priceless Crown Jewels. Also you can visit the Medieval Palace, the famous Bloody Tower and over 90 inscriptions made by prisoners in the Beauchamp Tower. Free guided tours are available by the Yeoman Warders: the Beefeaters. 'Crowns and Diamonds' exhibition, showing the evolution of Royal Crowns in Britain and the important relationship which diamonds have with them is housed in the Martin Tower.