The Palace of Westminster aka the Houses of Parliament were open this past weekend as part of Open House London, and I was overjoyed at the opportunity to visit such a pinnacle location from both England’s past and future (for free!). It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987 and Elizabeth Tower, colloquially called “Big Ben” is probably the most recognisable emblem of the United Kingdom as well as a leading tourist attraction.
There were over 900 properties participating in Open House London this year. Open House was founded in 1992 as a non-profit organisation to promote public awareness and appreciation of some of the capital’s most interesting buildings, by opening doors usually closed to the public.
Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the building, was constructed in 1097 with an incredible hammerbeam roof. My favourite part of the hall was that there were plaques on the floor designating where important people stood throughout history. You can stand where Queen Elizabeth II stood to address the hall on her most recent Jubilee, or where Nelson Mandela stood, or where Churchill lay in state after his death.
Imitating a statue. As one does in the seat of English power.
Taking a photo of where Queen Mary lay in state.
Have you ever been inside the Palace of Westminster? Did you attend any of the Open House London events?